PetroChina said its 2009 net profit fell 9.7% year-on-year to US$15.14 billion due to lower oil prices, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, the company expects to benefit from increased production and higher energy prices in 2010. PetroChina’s average selling price for crude oil fell 38% in 2009 to US$53.90 a barrel, sending profit from the company’s exploration and production business down 128% to US$15.4 billion, although the refining business returned to profit as Beijing eased price controls.
Having cut crude oil output by 3.1% in 2009 in response to weaker oil demand, PetroChina is targeting an output increase of 1.2% this year to 853.7 million barrels. Refinery output is expected to grow 8.8% to 122 million barrels. The International Energy Agency has said that China could account for 25% of the total increase in global oil consumption this year.