PetroChina earnings rise 30%
By Wan Zhihong (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-10-30 09:23

PetroChina Co, the country's biggest oil and gas producer, posted a 30 percent increase in third-quarter earnings thanks to higher crude oil prices and increased output.

The company reported a net profit of 39.89 billion yuan ($5.84 billion) from July to September. Earnings per share were 0.22 yuan, an increase of 0.05 yuan from the same period of last year, PetroChina said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.

From January to September, PetroChina's total oil and gas output reached 880.7 million barrels equivalent, an increase of 6 percent year-on-year, said the statement.

In the period the company processed 642.5 million barrels of crude oil, up by 5.1 percent year-on-year, said the statement.

In another statement filed with the Shanghai stock exchange yesterday, Sinopec Corp, the country's largest refiner, posted a 39 percent fall in third-quarter earnings, as higher crude prices pushed its refining business deep into the red, even after it received 11.7 billion yuan in government subsidies.

In the first nine months the company processed 128.77 million tons of crude oil, up by 7.25 percent from the same period last year, said the statement.

In the period the company produced 31.33 million tons of crude oil, and 6.1 billion cu m of natural gas, said the statement.

"If there is no adjustment on refined oil prices in the fourth quarter, PetroChina and Sinopec will see good financial performance in the period," said Liu Gu, an analyst with Guotai Jun'an Securities in Shenzhen.

The crude oil price rose to a record of $147 per barrel in July. However, domestic refined oil products prices are controlled by the government.

The gap between high crude prices on the international market and the relatively low prices of refined oil products domestically has put the their refining business in the red.

From January to June, refineries under PetroChina and Sinopec incurred 5.71 billion yuan of losses, 47.9 percent more than a year earlier, said China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association.

However, as global oil prices are now below $70 per barrel, analysts said that domestic refineries have started to see some profits again.

They said that China should reduce its refined oil products prices in line with the price decrease globally.

China National Offshore Oil Co (CNOOC) announced on Tuesday that its net oil and gas output in the third quarter of 2008 rose 15.2 percent year-on-year.

The State-owned offshore oil producer said that its total revenue was 30.9 billion yuan for the third quarter, representing a year-on-year increase of 69.1 percent.

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