PetroChina posts record interim profit, sees fuel demand rising
- Expects H2 fuel demand up 1.6% y/y, gas demand up 5.5% y/y
- PetroChina H1 profit hits record high
- Crude oil throughput down 1.4%, fuel sales down 11.1%
- H1 capital expenditure up 25% on exploration expansion
SINGAPORE, Aug 25 (Reuters) - PetroChina expects China's apparent refined oil products demand to grow 1.6% in the second half of 2022 from a year ago, following an economic recovery as Beijing vowed more stimulus, a senior company executive said at a conference call on Thursday.
China's fuel demand was dented by months-long lockdowns across cities in the second quarter, forcing refiners to cut operations.
"China's apparent fuel demand is expected to reach 180 million tonnes in the second half of the year, with a fast recovery of jet fuel consumption," said Huang Yongzhang, President of PetroChina.
The firm also forecast China's natural gas consumption to rise 5.5% in July-December from a year ago, driving total gas demand for 2022 to 380-390 billion cubic metres.
PetroChina's refinery throughput dipped 1.4% to 597.5 million barrels in the first half of 2022, while sales of gasoline, diesel and kerosene combined were down 11.1% to 71.43 million tonnes.
However, the firm notched up a record first-half profit, thanks to an increase in its oil and gas output and higher energy prices, as Western sanctions on Russia intensified tight supply worries.
Interim profit was 82.39 billion yuan ($12 billion), up 55% from a year ago, while revenue grew 35% to 1.614 trillion yuan, according to a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
PetroChina also disclosed a 3.1% increase in oil and gas output to 845 million barrels of oil equivalent, in response to Beijing's order to enhance domestic energy supply amid an increasingly complex geopolitical environment.
The benchmark Brent oil price spiked to a 13-year high of over $130 a barrel in early March on the prospect of supply disruption after Russia invaded Ukraine and Western countries vowed to enforce an embargo on Russian oil.
PetroChina recorded a 3.4% growth in domestic oil output and 4.4% rise in domestic gas production.
PetroChina's capital expenditure was at 92.31 billion yuan in the first half of 2022, up 25% from a year ago, as the firm expanded oil and gas exploration. That represented 38% of the annual budget this year.
($1 = 6.8501 Chinese yuan renminbi)
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