PetroChina Posts Higher Annual Profit on Higher Production

PetroChina Co. Ltd. has reported CNY 161.15 billion ($20.6 billion) in net income for 2023, up 8.3 percent compared to 2022 as growth in both upstream and downstream output offset weaker oil prices.“With an emphasis on a market-oriented and profit-centric approach, the Company seized the favorable opportunity from demand recovery in the domestic refined products market to step up marketing efforts”, the state-backed company said in a news release.

While PetroChina logged a 16.8 percent year-on-year fall in its average oil selling price, it said 2023 saw “strengthened resilience of its industrial chain against the changes of macro-factors such as the oil price”.PetroChina saw its crude oil production rise 0.8 percent to 770 million barrels against the prior year, while marketable natural gas production jumped six percent to 4.7 trillion cubic feet.

“The new energies business experienced leap-frog development, with new energies development and utilization capacity reaching 11.5 million tons of standard coal per year, up 44 percent from the previous year”, PetroChina added.It highlighted, “A number of major breakthroughs and important discoveries were made in key basins such as Ordos, the Tarim Basin, Sichuan and Bohai Bay”.

“As stepped-up efforts were made to secure the stable production of mature oil and gas fields and the cost-effective development of new fields, the crude oil output steadily increased”, PetroChina said.“Meanwhile, the natural gas output grew fast and accounted for a greater proportion of the Company’s output in oil equivalent terms.

“Overseas operations maintained healthy growth in conjunction with ever-improving asset quality and increasingly internationalized operational standards”.Downstream, refined products production climbed 16.5 percent year-over-year to 120 million tons. PetroChina sold 170 million tons of gasoline, kerosene and diesel, up 10.1 percent.

“[T]he commodity volume of chemical products amounted to 34.3 million tons, an increase of 8.7 percent year-on-year, and the output of new materials surged by 60 percent year-on-year to 1.37 million tons”, the announcement stated.PetroChina last year put into production a refining and chemical facility in the southern province of Guangdong, as well as progressed construction at key ethylene projects such as Guangxi Petrochemical, Jilin Petrochemical and Tarim Phase II of Dushanzi Petrochemical.

“The Company rode on the market recovery to boost the utilization rate of facilities and further optimize the product structure”, it said. “As a result, the proportion of refining specialty products and high-end chemical products increased.“Enhanced efforts were carried out to promote the R&D of new materials, and the Company saw significant increase in the output of petroleum coke, lubricant base oil and new materials.

“Meanwhile, the output of ethylene and PX products continued to grow, along with increased output of general materials such as linear polyethylene film materials and best-selling special materials such as metallocene polyethylene film materials and medical materials”.Revenue totaled CNY 3 trillion ($384.2 billion), with an 11.1 percent return on equity and 10.4 percent return on capital investment.

PetroChina’s operating activities generated CNY456.6 billion ($58.5 billion) in net cash flow, up 16 percent compared to 2022. Free cash flow increased 17.1 percent to CNY 176.12 billion ($22.6 billion). Both operating cash flow and free cash flow figures represent historic highs for the company, it said.The board of directors declared CNY 0.23 ($0.03) in final dividend per share for 2023, inclusive of tax. The total annual dividend for the year came at CNY 0.44 ($0.06) per share, inclusive of tax. Both final 2023 dividend and full-year 2023 dividend figures are the highest in PetroChina’s history, it said.

“Looking ahead to 2024, the Company will adhere to the five development strategies of innovation, resources, market, internationalization, and green & low-carbon development”, PetroChina said.While aiming to “accelerate the development of new energies”, PetroChina said it will “step up efforts to promote oil and gas exploration and development”.