PetroChina posts $2 billion Q1 loss

China’s leading oil and gas producer, PetroChina, posted a loss of $2 billion for the first quarter on plummeting international oil prices.

Net losses reached 13.78 billion yuan (about $2.13 billion), according to a quarterly report it filed with the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, Xinhua news agency said.

From January to March, the company’s crude oil and marketable natural gas output rose 1.4 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, from the same period last year, according to the report.

In the first quarter, plummeting international oil prices brought the average price of the company’s crude oil to $27.27 per barrel, a fall of 44.2 percent over the same period last year, it said.

The average price of its natural gas was $4.886 per thousand cubic feet, down 21.7 percent from the same period last year.

However, as international oil prices stabilized and measures to reduce costs and improve profitability were implemented, PetroChina’s operational and financial results in the first quarter improved month by month.

The company saw a substantial revenue increase in March and recorded a profit in the same month. Currently, PetroChina maintains a healthy financial position with its debt-to-capital ratio and debt-to-asset ratio remaining stable, and free cash remaining positive, said the report.

PetroChina plans to complete transactions for the Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline cooperative project in the second quarter of this year, which will have a positive impact on its interim and annual financial results for this year, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

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