PetroChina posts $4.4 bln H1 loss amid oil price slump

Credit: REUTERS/China Stringer Network

PetroChina Co fell to a first-half net loss of 29.98 billion yuan ($4.36 billion), Asia's largest oil and gas producer reported on Thursday, reflecting a fall in oil prices and lower demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

SINGAPORE/BEIJING, Aug 27 (Reuters) - PetroChina Co 601857.SS, 0857.HK fell to a first-half net loss of 29.98 billion yuan ($4.36 billion), Asia's largest oil and gas producer reported on Thursday, reflecting a fall in oil prices and lower demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

A year earlier it booked a profit of 28.42 billion yuan, PetroChina's filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange showed.

"The company faced unprecedented challenges in production and operations because of the steep fall in global oil prices and shrinking domestic oil and gas demand," Chairman Dai Houliang said in the filing.

Revenue fell 22% to 929 billion yuan.

PetroChina's crude oil output rose 5.2% to 475.4 million barrels, while natural gas production was up 9.4% to 2.15 trillion cubic feet, as the state giant sustained domestic drilling to safeguard national supply security.

The robust growth in gas production was in line with the company's pledge earlier this year to prioritise the production of the lower-carbon fuel, the price of which is more insulated versus oil.

Reflecting the impact of lockdowns on travel and industrial activities earlier in the year, China's second-largest refiner reported a 4.9% fall in refinery throughput to 568 million barrels, or about 3.12 million barrels per day.

China's largest gas importer recorded a net loss of about 11.83 billion yuan on its natural gas import business, 5.6% deeper than a year earlier, as import costs exceeded state-capped domestic wholesale prices.

PetroChina's capital spending in the first half of 2020 fell 11% to 74.8 billion yuan, the firm said.

($1 = 6.8833 Chinese yuan renminbi)

PetroChina's net incomehttps://tmsnrt.rs/3aUjrEs

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu in Singapore and Muyu Xu in Beijing; editing by Jason Neely)

((aizhu.chen@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3284; Reuters Messaging: aizhu.chen.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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