CNOOC oil, gas production rises 9%, profits decline in H1 2023

Bloomberg News August 17, 2023

(Bloomberg) – CNOOC Ltd. said its first-half profit declined as oil prices slumped over concerns about global growth, including China’s own bumpy domestic recovery.

China’s biggest offshore driller reported 63.8 billion yuan ($8.76 billion) net income in the first six months, down 11% compared to 71.9 billion yuan a year earlier, it said in a filing. That follows a 6% decline in first-quarter earnings.

With a relatively minuscule refining business, CNOOC remains more exposed than its peers to fluctuations in the crude oil market. Every $1 drop in benchmark rates can cut earnings by 3.4%, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Brent crude was on average 24% lower in the first half of the year than same period in 2022, when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked fears of a global energy crisis. Prices have slipped this year as China’s sputtering exit from Covid restrictions has raised concerns about a global economic slowdown.

The firm’s oil and gas output rose 9% to 331.8 MMbbl in the first six months.

CNOOC has pledged higher spending this year to lift volumes and is extending its operations into deeper waters, responding to Beijing’s calls on the sector to do more to curb reliance on fuel imports. Xi reiterated a focus on energy security last month and called for further reforms in China’s oil and gas sectors to ensure reliable supply.

CNOOC’s sister companies, PetroChina Ltd. and Sinopec, will report earnings later this month.

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