Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. Batman has his Bat Cave. Although they aren’t superheroes, oil and gas industry leaders do require their own, unique and often innovative space to navigate the sometimes turbulent global marketplace. Take a trip across the globe with our list below — the 10 most visually striking oil and gas company headquarters from around the world.
1. Petronas Towers – Malaysia
The Petronas Twin Towers are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Between 1998 and 2004 the towers were the tallest buildings in the world, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s official definition and ranking.
The towers remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The structures were designed by Argentine architect César Pelli with a distinct postmodern style, creating a modern icon for Kuala Lumpur. Tower One is occupied solely by the state-owned Petronas. In 2013 it was ranked 75th in Fortune Global 500’s list of largest corporations in the world.
2. Royal Dutch Shell – Netherlands
Royal Dutch Shell plc, often referred to only as Shell, is a multi-national oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. Shell is one of the six oil and gas “supermajors.”
With deep roots recent European history, the company (in its various historic forms) has been a routine casualty of war. In 1916, the German invasion of Romania destroyed 17 percent of its worldwide production. In 1940, after Germany invaded the Netherlands the head office was moved to the country of Curaçao. In 1945 the company’s headquarters in Copenhagen was used by the Gestapo and was destroyed in a bombing raid.
It wasn’t until 2004 that the organization transformed into the parent company Royal Dutch Shell with its headquarters and tax residency located in The Hague, Netherlands. Interestingly (but somewhat unrelated), in the early 1950s Shell was the first company to purchase and use a computer in the Netherlands.
3. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation – Kuwait
Nationally-owned oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) is headquartered in Kuwait City. Its operations include onshore and offshore upstream exploration and production, refining, marketing, retailing, petrochemical production and marine transportation.
After overcoming the 1990 Iraqi invasion, KPC focused on international expansion. After temporarily locating its headquarters to London due to conflict, operations eventually migrated back to Kuwait in various locations. The head office building, located in the Kuwait Oil Sector Complex, was completed in 2006.
4. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) – Beijing
CNPC is a state-owned oil and gas corporation. It is the largest integrated energy company in China and is the parent of PetroChina (the fourth largest company in the world in terms of revenue as of July 2014).
The 25-story high-end office was the first building in China to feature an automated and eco-friendly waste collection system. Built in 2008, the office also features intelligent lighting control systems and has a gold rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification program.
5. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – Beijing
CNOOC is China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas. It is the third-largest national oil company in the People’s Republic of China after CNPC and China Petrochemical Corporation.
The headquarters, completed in 2006, were designed by American architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox Architects (KPF), the firm that designed the Shanghai World Financial Center. According to the KPF, the building’s form was designed to portray “image of offshore oil production: the prow-like shape recalls an oil tanker’s bow and the tower elevated, above the ground on piloti, suggests an offshore oil derrick.”
6. Gazprom – Russia
Gazprom was created 1989 after the Soviet Ministry of Gas Industry was made into a corporation which retained all its assets. It remains a private company, although the Russian government owns a majority stake. As a result, Gazprom is often involved in the Russian government’s political strategies, such as manipulation of gas prices and access to pipelines. Interestingly, the company has its own private army.
Its head office building was completed in 1994 and was designed by architects Tekeli & Sisa. A new head office complex is currently under construction in St. Petersberg and is expected to be completed by 2018. Dubbed the Lakhta Center, it’s expected to be the largest skyscraper in Russia and Europe.
The Lakhta Center will provide a wide range of public functions, including transportation infrastructure. According to the project’s website, the Lakhta Center is “implemented as a pilot project of an integrated development of the area and the construction of a mini city … a sustainable district for life and work.” It will serve as the headquarters for Gazprom Neft and other Gazprom Group companies.
7. Statoil – Norway
Statoil ASA is a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company with operations in 36 countries. It was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the world’s 11th largest O&G company by revenue, and 26th by profit.
In 2012 the one-of-a-kind office won the Best Commercial Building prize at the World Architecture News Awards, according to Gizmag.com. Designed by Norwegian architectural firm A-Lab, the headquarters flaunts five blocks, each with its own unique orientation and view, creating an expansive atrium where they meet in the center.
8. Repsol – Spain
Founded in 1987, Repsol is an integrated energy company based in Spain and is involved in upstream and downstream activities throughout the world. Its headquarters were designed by architect Rafael de La-Hoz Arderius.
Completed in 2013, the Repsol Campus became the first large office building in Spain and one of the first of its size in Europe to be awarded a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certificate, the highest distinction awarded by the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable and eco-friendly design.
9. OMV AG – Austria
OMV is an integrated international oil and gas company headquartered in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the largest industrial companies listed in Austria with a workforce of around 25,000. It’s headquarters are comprised of two, separately designed office buildings.
The curved structure, referred to as “Hoch Zwei” (or “High Two”) was designed by Henke Schreieck Architects and was completed in 2009. The rectangular structure, referred to as “Plus Zwei” (or “Plus Two”) was designed by architect Martin Kohlbauer and was completed in 2008. Both buildings make up the OMV head-office and are connected by a glass bridge.
10. Pertamina – Indonesia (under construction)
Pertamina Energy Tower will become a highly sustainable corporate headquarters for Pertamina, the state-owned energy company. The ambitious project was designed by private architecture and design company Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and is expected to be completed in 2020.
The building is designed to be a zero net energy building, meaning it will generate as much energy as it consumes. With a central energy plant incorporated into the design, the tower will have the ability to harness different types of renewable energy sources, such as geothermal energy and wind power generated by a funnel located at the top of the tower.