PetroChina eyes progress in Sino-Russian pipeline

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, May 18, 2011
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Senior executives of PetroChina Co., Ltd., said Wednesday that the company will continue to seek opportunity for overseas merger and acquisition (M&A) and further expand its Latin American presence.

In an interview with Xinhua at PetroChina's annual shareholders' meeting, Chairman Jiang Jiemin said current high oil and gas prices don't make it an ideal time for overseas M&A, but the company won't miss a profitable chance when it comes along.

Jiang added that PetroChina will use the steady returns from its current overseas projects and funds raised through sales of bonds to support overseas expansion.

PetroChina aims to produce 200 million tonnes of oil equivalent, or half of its total output, by 2015 from overseas projects , while doubling the volume and value of its oil trading business from 2010, when it turned over 200 million tonnes and 100 billion U.S. dollars, Jiang said.

The chairman said smooth progress has been made for PetroChina to build oil-trading hubs in Singapore, London and New York, and the company plans to build storage and transportation facilities in the Caribbean region as part of efforts to boost cooperation with South American partners.

China and Russia have reached a consensus on most technical and commercial terms to facilitate the Sino-Russian pipeline project and only a few key questions remain, Jiang said.

Talks between China and Russia have focused on a western pipeline route that ends in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, but Jiang said PetroChina was hopeful of a breakthrough on an eastern pipeline, which would serve the markets of China, Japan and South Korea.

Concerning the current unrest in the Middle East and its effect on PetroChina's overseas growth, Jiang said he does not foresee any impact on the company, and it will not adjust its strategy regarding cooperation with overseas partners on oil and gas.

"We carry out complete risk assessments for each overseas project before we start it, therefore, I'm confident we will continue our strategy to cooperate with overseas partners," Jiang said.

Zhou Jiping, vice chairman of PetroChina, said he expected the global oil prices to remain high -- around 95 U.S. dollars a barrel in the second half of this year.

Last month, the Research Institute of the Boao Forum for Asia ranked PetroChina first in a competitiveness report of listed Asian enterprises with relatively high indexes on basic competency capacity, development capacity, profitability and anti-risk capacity.

Net profits of PetroChina, the country's largest oil producer, rose 13.9 percent from a year earlier to 37 billion yuan (5.68 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter, according to PetroChina's annual report in April.

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