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.


New Delhi to sell full stake in debt-ridden Air India

Updated 27 January 2020

New Delhi to sell full stake in debt-ridden Air India

  • The airline, which owes more than $8 billion, has been struggling to pay salaries and buy fuel
  • Formerly India’s monopoly airline, carrier was once known affectionately as the ‘Maharaja of the skies’

MUMBAI: New Delhi intends to sell its entire stake in the debt-crippled national carrier Air India, the government announced Monday, after failing previously to secure any bids for a majority share.
The airline, which owes more than $8 billion, has been struggling to pay salaries and buy fuel, with officials recently warning that it would have to shut down unless a buyer was found.
On Monday the civil aviation ministry released a document inviting bids for a 100 percent stake, setting March 17 as the deadline for initial submissions.
Potential buyers would have to assume around $3.26 billion in debt, the document said.
The government was forced in 2018 to shelve plans to sell a 76 percent stake in Air India after failing to attract any bidders.
India’s Tata Group, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and IndiGo were all linked to a takeover but subsequently ruled themselves out.
Founded in 1932 and formerly India’s monopoly airline, the company was once known affectionately as the “Maharaja of the skies.”
But it has been hemorrhaging money for more than a decade and has lost market share to low-cost rivals in one of the world’s fastest-growing but most competitive airline markets.
In November aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said the airline would “have to close down if it is not privatized.”
State-run oil companies halted fuel supplies to Air India in August after it fell behind on payments, though the firms agreed to lift the suspension a month later after talks brokered by the government.
The country’s aviation sector has been stuck in a slump since the collapse of Jet Airways last year.