PetroChina FY net profit declines 9.7%

08:21, March 26, 2010      

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PetroChina Co, the country's largest oil and gas producer, said on Thursday its net profit for 2009 fell 9.7 percent as crude prices declined amid the global economic recession.

The company's net profit totaled 103.39 billion yuan ($15.14 billion) last year according to international financial reporting standards, and earnings per share were 0.56 yuan, PetroChina said in a statement.

Total turnover for 2009 was 1.02 trillion yuan, the statement said.

"Weak crude prices were the main contributor to the company's drop in profits last year," said Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University.

"There is no doubt that PetroChina will see a surge in profits this year with the recovery in crude prices."

Oil prices fell 38 percent to around $50 per barrel last year as the economic recession curbed global demand for gasoline and diesel.

Many industry insiders believe this year's oil price will hit $80 a barrel as the world economy stabilizes.

According to a survey of 14 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg, PetroChina profit may rise 28 percent this year.

The oil exploration and production segment was the main source of PetroChina's profits last year, totaling 105.02 billion yuan.

The refining and chemical segment realized a profit of 17.3 billion yuan last year, an increase of 111.1 billion yuan from a year earlier.

"Thanks to a new fuel pricing system last year, PetroChina could turn a profit in the refining business," said Lin from Xiamen University. "The pricing system links domestic gasoline and diesel prices closer together with international crude prices, which let domestic refiners more easily pass rising costs on to users."

PetroChina produced 840 million barrels of crude oil last year, down 3.1 percent year-on-year.

Net oil and gas production of overseas businesses was 104 million barrels, up 13 percent year-on-year, accounting for 8.7 percent of the company's total production.

Overseas development will continue to be a key strategy for PetroChina this year, said analysts, adding the move is in line with China's strategy to secure additional energy supplies to ensure energy security.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the parent of PetroChina and Total will jointly bid for a stake in Venezuela's Carabobo oilfield, according to the French company.

Source: China Daily
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