Exxon Mobil

ExxonMobil may have trailed Royal Dutch Shell on our list, but solid revenue helped it outstep BP. The recession meant the oil and gas company faced the same challenges as its peers, but ExxonMobil still continued to expand its global reach into emerging markets. It completed a $5 billion refining complex in China's Fujian province, which will expand production of diesel and other refined products to meet the region's growing demands.

Like the rest of the industry, ExxonMobil stands to benefit from increased spending when the global economy recovers; but it will also have to adapt to a new, more volatile marketplace