PetroChina Profit Jumps to Record on Surging Prices, Output

PetroChina Profit Jumps to Record on Surging Prices, Output

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(Bloomberg) — PetroChina posted a record annual profit following a global spike in energy prices and rising output of oil and gas.

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China’s largest oil producer reported net income of 149 billion yuan ($21.6 billion) for 2022, according to international financial reporting standards, up from 92 billion yuan a year earlier, the company said in a Wednesday stock exchange filing. 

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Parent company China National Petroleum Corp.’s research arm expects consumption of gasoline and diesel to rise this year at the fastest rate since 2012, supporting the outlook for 2023, while rivals including Sinopec also forecast a rebound in demand as the nation’s economy recovers from Covid curbs.

PetroChina will use the profit gains to lift spending and shareholder returns. The company will increase its 2022 dividend payment to 0.42 yuan per share, from 0.23 yuan for 2021.

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Capital expenditure is forecast at 243.5 billion yuan in 2023, down from 274.3 billion yuan last year, and will include a focus on lower-emission fuel sources as PetroChina aims to meet a target for clean energy to account for half its output by 2050. The firm is reviewing developments in sectors including geothermal energy and hydrogen.

Crude production in 2022 rose to 906.2 million barrels, while gas climbed to 4.68 trillion cubic feet as the company responded to Beijing’s call to boost domestic output to avoid any new energy crisis. It plans to increase oil and gas output to an equivalent 1.7 billion barrels this year.

Higher global oil and gas prices last year helped to offset weaker performance in refining, which suffered from lagging demand as pandemic restrictions crimped road and air traffic.

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(Updates with details throughout.)

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