(Reuters) – China’s largest oil and gas producer, PetroChina (601857.SS), on Thursday posted a net profit of 92.17 billion yuan ($14.53 billion) for 2021, making its biggest since 2014 thanks to a global economic recovery that lifted energy prices and consumption.
In 2020, PetroChina’s net profit was 19 billion yuan.
The company said, in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, that it expects to reduce capital expenditure to 242 billion yuan this year from the 251.2 billion yuan spent in 2021. The cuts to capex would be mainly in the refining and chemical sector and the marketing sector.
Investment in exploration and production will be raised to 181.2 billion yuan from 178.3 billion in 2021, however, as the company plans to boost output from key domestic basins including Songliao Ordos, Junggar and Tarim, and devote more effort to exploration for resources such as shale gas and shale oil.
It plans to produce 898.6 million barrels of crude oil and 4,625.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas this year. That compares to the 887.9 million barrels of crude and 4,420 billion cubic feet of gas produced in 2021.
Refinery crude oil throughput is expected to be 1,269.4 million barrels in 2022, up from 1,225 million barrels last year.
“The Group will strengthen production control and benchmarking management, keep operating on a low inventory basis (and) organise enterprise maintenance to avoid peak production,” it said in the statement.
($1 = 6.3435 Chinese yuan renminbi)