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PetroChina to invest $1.5 bil/year in 2021-25 for low carbon emission transitions

Highlights

To equal fairly fossil fuel and clean energy development

To meet 22%-25% capex cut in 2020

Flips to achieve operation profit in Q3

Singapore — State-owned PetroChina plans to spend about Yuan 10 billion ($1.49 billion) annually in the next five years for low carbon emission transitions as part of the company's effort to meet Beijing's call for carbon neutrality by 2060, Wei Fang, Assistant Secretary to the Board & Head of Investor Relations, said during the company's Q3 result briefing.

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PetroChina, China's top integrated giant, had produced 4.43 million boe/d of oil and gas in January-September.

Wei said the company targets to achieve near zero emission by 2050 and is currently drafting the new green and low carbon development plan in line with PetroChina's 14th Five-Year Plan for 2021-25.

"We go to build low carbon energy equals fairly with integrated development of fossil fuel and clean energy," Wei said.

In the next five years, PetroChina will focus more on integrated natural gas and power, geothermal, wind power as well as solar energy, Wei said, adding that it will launch pilot projects in hydrogen energy value chain.

The company prefers to work with external partners, such as establishing joint ventures, to have diverse methods for developing new energy businesses, Liu Wentao, who leads PetroChina's planning department, said late-August.

In the first three quarters, PetroChina's capital expense was at Yuan 160.8 billion, down 7.8% year on year, the result showed.

The company maintains its capex target of cutting 22%-25% from the last year levels as a reaction to price plunge and gloomy demand in 2020, Brian Xin Cong, Deputy Director of Investor Relations, said during the call.

As the company spanned off its pipeline assets and transferred to PipeChina on Sept. 30, the previous planned spending on pipeline construction will be saved, so that PetroChina will meet the capex cut target in 2020, Yu Meng, Deputy Director of Finance Disclosure, said during the call.

Q3 Domestic Gas Output Growth Slows

PetroChina slows down its domestic output growth in the third quarter to take advantage of low import price.

The company produced 883 Bcf of natural gas in July-September in China, up only 2.3% year on year and lagged behind both the 10.9% year-on-year growth for January-June and its annual growth target of 5%-6%, according to the report.

As a result, PetroChina's gas output accounted for 60.1% of China's gas output in January-September, down from 61% share in the first-half but remained slightly higher than 59.6% in the same period of last year.

Xin said the company increased gas imports in Q3 as spot price was low while there were some facility maintenance in the quarter which also contributed to slower growth.

However, Xin remained confident that the company will meet the 5%-6% growth target in 2020 as it boosts production in Q4 for peak winter demand. In the first three quarters, its domestic gas output rose 8.2% year on year to 2,907.4 Bcf.

Domestic crude oil output was steady at 560 million barrels with a 0.6% year-on-year increase.

The company achieved an operation profit at Yuan 60.28 billion in January-September, flipping from Yuan 6.04 billion of operation loss in H1, thanks to selling its pipeline asset to PipeChina in Q3, while crude price and demand recovery from COVID-19 pandemic also helped.

It gained Yuan 66.32 billion of operation profit in Q3, compared to Yuan 2.66 billion operation loss in Q2, the result showed.

PetroChina's operation result

Unit
Jan-Sep 20
Jan-Sep 19
YoY vol Change
Crude oil output*
mil barrel
701.2
682.7
2.7%
Natural gas output*
Bcf
3,079.8
2,892.8
6.5%
Oil & gas equivalent output*
mil boe
1,214.6
1,165.0
4.3%
Crude throughput
mil barrel
877.3
905.9
-3.2%
Loss/Profit from operation
bil Yuan
60.3
95.4
-36.8%
Capital expenditure
bil Yuan
160.8
174.4
-7.8%

*Oil, gas outputs from both domestic and overseas

Source: company report

PetroChina's domestic production (Unit: mil mt)

Jan-Sep 20
China Jan-Sep 20
^share in China
Jan-Sep 19
YoY vol Change
Natural gas (Bcm)*
82.33
137.07
60.1%
76.11
8.2%
Crude oil**
75.79
146.25
51.8%
75.37
0.6%
Refinery throughput**
118.73
495.38
24.0%
122.60
-3.2%
Gasoline
34.01
96.36
35.3%
37.08
-8.3%
Gasoil
39.00
119.70
32.6%
40.12
-2.8%
Jet/Kerosene
7.19
29.32
24.5%
9.38
-23.4%
Gasoil:Gasoline
1.15
1.20
1.29

*conversion factor: 1 cubic meter = 35.31 cubic feet

**conversion factor: 1 mt = 7.389 barrels

^ Divide PetroChina's output by China's total production

Source: company report, National Bureau of Statistics

PetroChina's oil product total sales volume (Unit: mil mt)

Jan-Sep 20
Jan-Sep 19
Change
Gasoline
50.25
56.85
-11.6%
Gasoil
60.13
66.81
-10.0%
Jet fuel
10.26
15.02
-31.7%
Total
120.65
138.68
-13.0%

Source: company report