PetroChina posts lower Q1 profit, upstream weighs

HONG KONG, April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:14am EDT

HONG KONG, April 25 (Reuters) - PetroChina, China's dominant oil and gas producer, reported an eight percent fall in first-quarter profit, weighed down by lower realised crude prices and further losses at its natural gas import business.

Net profit reached 36.02 billion yuan ($5.8 billion)in the first three months, versus 39.15 billion yuan a year earlier, under international accounting standards, the Beijing-based company said on Thursday.

PetroChina has been importing natural gas at crude-linked prices and selling it at home at a loss because of government price controls aimed at taming inflation. Losses have been expanding due to increases in import volumes.

PetroChina and Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, have suffered losses at their refining segments as they could not fully pass on higher crude costs to consumers because of government controls on oil product prices.

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