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Chinese oil and gas giant PetroChina reported on Wednesday a record-high profit for the first half of 2023, as its refining business recovered after the reopening and oil and gas production increased.
Profit attributable to the shareholders of PetroChina rose by 4.5% year-over-year to $11.7 billion (85.27 billion Chinese yuan), the company said in a stock exchange filing.
Total revenues fell by 8.3% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022, primarily due to the decline in sales prices of oil and gas. PetroChina’s average realized crude oil price stood at $74.15 per barrel, down by 21.7% from $94.65 a barrel for the same period of last year.
“In the first half of 2023, domestic market demand recovered steadily, and refined products consumption showed recovering growth, returning essentially to 2019 levels. Domestic supply of refined products has accelerated recovery,” PetroChina said.
The group processed 673 million barrels of crude oil in the first half of 2023, up by 12.6% from the same period of last year. PetroChina produced 58.856 million tons of refined products, 14.3% higher than the refined product output in the first half of 2022 when China was still under strict Covid lockdowns. The output of jet fuel has jumped this year.
Apart from higher refining throughput and fuel production, PetroChina reported increased oil and gas production domestically and globally. Domestic oil output rose by 1.2% and production of marketable natural gas increased by 7.3% year-on-year in the first half of 2023.
Earlier this week, another Chinese state major, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec, reported a 20.1% decline in its net profit for the first half of 2023, amid lower international crude oil prices and weaker-than-expected fuel demand recovery in China.
Sinopec acknowledged that its refining division was challenged by the lower crude oil prices and narrowed profit margins of certain refined oil products. In the chemicals division, Sinopec flagged weak domestic demand and reported an operating loss for the January-June period compared to a small profit for the same period of 2022.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com