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Bureau reports record revenues overseas...

China's Oil and Gas Pipeline Bureau, the country's major oil and gas pipeline design and installation firm, reported 4.7 billion yuan (US$573 million) in total revenues in 2003, up 47 per cent on the year.

The bureau reported 100 million yuan (US$17 million) in profits for the past year while overseas business revenue exceeded 2 billion yuan (US$243 million) for the first time in its 30 year-old history.

Su Shifeng, chief of the bureau, said the figures represented a major step forward for the state-owned firm to becoming an international company.

The firm is a subsidiary of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, the country's biggest oil producer and supplier.

The bureau has been involved in major oil pipeline installation projects in Sudan and Libya.

The company installed 3,700 kilometers of pipelines in and outside China in 2003.

The company has been awarded five other overseas contracts worth a total of US $230 million.