PetroChina Profit Steady as E&P Gain Offsets Refining Slump

(Bloomberg) -- PetroChina Co. reported steady net income in the first quarter as higher exploration and production earnings countered a slump in refining.

  • Net income rose 1 percent from a year ago to 10.26 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday, using international accounting standards.

Key Insights

  • Despite international oil prices averaging 5 percent lower during the quarter, China’s largest oil and gas producer boosted operating profit from exploration and production by 47 percent to 14.3 billion yuan.
    • That’s partly due to a 1.5 percent drop in oil and gas lifting costs.
  • The state-owned giant plans to raise spending to the most in six years to bolster China’s energy production. Domestic crude output increased 1.5 percent, while gas supply rose 9.5 percent.
  • The higher upstream earnings overcame a plunge in its refining segment, which eked out an operating profit of 46 million yuan compared with 3.91 billion yuan last year. The tumble was partly due to the “adverse effect” from lower oil prices on inventory values, according to the company.

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  • Operating profit from natural gas and pipelines gained 12.5 percent to 12.58 billion yuan.
    • Losses from sales of gas imports including LNG narrowed to 3.29 billion yuan from 5.82 billion.
  • Earnings from refining and chemicals dropped to 3 billion yuan from 8.4 billion.
  • Oil and natural gas equivalent output rose 6.4 percent to 390.1 million barrels.
  • Average realized oil price decreased 5.8 percent to $59.53 per barrel, while natural gas gained 4.7 percent to $6.63 per thousand cubic feet.

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