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PetroChina Output Climbs
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China's largest oil company PetroChina said its oil and gas production in the first quarter of this year rose 3.7 percent to 277 million tons of oil equivalent.


The Hong Kong and New York-listed company pumped out 209 million barrels of crude oil in the first quarter, up 1.5 million barrels from a year earlier, PetroChina said on its website yesterday.


It produced 410.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas, an increase of 50.4 billion cubic feet, the statement said.


"Maintaining the current growth in output, PetroChina will have no problem achieving its full-year target," said Liu Gu, an analyst with Shenzhen-based Guotai Jun'an Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd.


"The relatively slow growth in production was partly caused by some natural disasters," she said.


Severe tides and blizzards in northeastern China shut some fields in the first quarter, PetroChina said in the statement.


The company processed 202 million barrels of crude oil in the three-month period, up 2.6 percent.


It produced 11.58 million tons of diesel oil, up 4.5 percent and 5.39 million tons of gasoline, down 5.3 percent.


PetroChina's production of oil and gas hit a record high of 1.06 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2006, up 5 percent on the previous year.


Its profit for 2006 reached 142.2 billion yuan, said Jiang Jiemin, vice-president of PetroChina, adding the company will reinvest its profit in exploration and production to pump enough oil and gas for local consumption.


The company will inject around 250 billion yuan into oil and gas production and refining this year, Jiang told China Daily earlier.


The company recently announced that it discovered a "very rich" oilfield at Bohai Bay. Shares in PetroChina rose 1.1 percent to HK$9.15 on the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.


(China Daily April 17, 2007)


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