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.


Gulf economies to take coronavirus exports hit says S&P

Updated 17 February 2020

Gulf economies to take coronavirus exports hit says S&P

  • S&P expects oil prices to remain at $60 per barrel in 2020 and decline to $55 from 2021
  • The ratings agency expects the impact on the banking sector to be low, with little direct exposure to Chinese companies

LONDON: Gulf states already hurt by a weak oil price could reap further economic pain from the impact of the coronavirus on their exports, S&P Global Ratings warned on Monday.

The ratings agency believes there is a risk that the economic impact of the virus could increase unpredictably with implications for overall economic growth, the oil price and the creditworthiness of some companies. Still, its base case scenario anticipates a limited impact for now.

“Given the importance of the Chinese economy to global economic activity, S&P Global Ratings expects recent developments could weigh on growth prospects in the GCC, already affected by low oil prices and geopolitical uncertainty,” it said in a report.

Although the rate of spread and timing of the peak of the new coronavirus is still uncertain, S&P said that modeling by epidemiologists indicated a likely range for the peak of between late-February and June.

Notwithstanding the spread of the virus, S&P expects oil prices to remain at $60 per barrel in 2020 and decline to $55 from 2021.

It sees the biggest potential impact on regional economies to be felt in terms of export volumes. S&P estimates that GCC countries send between 4 percent and 45 percent of their exported goods to China, with Oman being the most exposed (45.1 percent) and the UAE the least exposed (4.2 percent).

Beyond the trade of goods, the Gulf’s hospitality sector could also feel the effect of reduced tourist arrivals with hotels and shopping malls likely to suffer. The impact could be further amplified because of the high-spending nature of Chinese tourists.

On-location spending by Chinese tourists is the fourth largest in the world at $3,064 per person, according to Nielsen data. About 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited the GCC in 2018 with expectations of that figure rising to 2.2 million in 2023, and with the UAE as the main destination.

Chinese passengers also accounted for 3.9 percent of passengers passing through Dubai International Airport in 2018.

S&P said that if the effect of the new coronavirus is felt beyond March, the number of visitors to Expo 2020 in Dubai could be lower than expected.

The ratings agency expects the impact on the banking sector to be low, with little direct exposure to Chinese companies.