PetroChina profits rise on strong crude and gas sales

A gas station attendant pumps fuel into a customer's car at PetroChina's petrol station in Beijing, China. (Reuters/File)
Updated 29 August 2019

PetroChina profits rise on strong crude and gas sales

  • PetroChina earlier this month started to drill its first shale oil well in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan

BEIJING: PetroChina, Asia’s largest oil and gas producer, said on Thursday first half 2019 net profit rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier, driven up by increasing crude oil and natural gas sales.

For the first six months of 2019, the company earned 28.42 billion yuan ($4.01 billion), PetroChina said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Total revenue for the state-backed company was 1.12 trillion yuan, up 6.8 percent from the same period in 2018.

Profit for the April to June quarter was 18.17 billion yuan, the highest since the third quarter last year, according to calculations by Reuters. That compares with 16.94 billion yuan in the same period a year earlier and 10.25 billion yuan in the first quarter of this year.

Over the first six months of 2019, PetroChina produced a total of 451.9 million barrels, or 2.5 million barrels per day, up 3.2 percent from the same period in 2018. 

It also reported a 3.1 percent increase in crude oil throughput at its refineries to 597.4 million barrels, or 3.3 million barrels per day.

With Beijing’s push to boost domestic energy production, PetroChina invested 12.27 billion yuan in upstream exploration in the first half of 2019, 14 percent more compared to the same period last year.

Chinese energy companies have said they plan to raise spending on domestic drilling this year to the highest since 2016 to safeguard the country’s energy security.

PetroChina earlier this month started to drill its first shale oil well in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan and vowed to double natural gas output in the region to 50 billion cubic meters by 2025.

“In the second half of the year, the company will vigorously implement centralized exploration in key regions ... and focus on shale gas production to increase production,” it said.

The company also addressed the risk of an economic downturn, excessive domestic oil refining capacity and the restructuring of oil and gas pipelines system.

“Looking forward, we will focus more on the Belt and Road Initiative ... and will increase the natural gas percentage in our overseas portfolio to optimize the asset structure,” PetroChina Executive Director and President Hou Qijun said.


Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

Updated 16 September 2019

Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

  • The Houthi attacks hit two Aramco sites and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday the US was ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to the attacks

HONG KONG: Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world’s top producer by half, fueling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country.
Brent futures surged $12 in the first few minutes of business — the most in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988 and representing a jump of nearly 20 percent — while WTI jumped more than $8, or 15 percent.
Both contracts pared the gains but were both still more than 10 percent up.
The attack by Tehran-backed Houthi militia in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, hit two sites owned by state-run giant Aramco and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.
“Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Trump authorized the release of US supplies from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Aramco said more than half of the five million barrels of production lost will be restored by tomorrow.
But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world’s biggest producer.
Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
“One thing we can say with confidence is that if part of the reason for last week’s fall in oil and improvement in geopolitical risk sentiment was the news of John Bolton’s sacking ... and thoughts this was a precursor to some form of rapprochement between Trump and Iran, then it is no longer valid,” said Ray Attrill at National Australia Bank.