KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) reported a 26% rise in half-year net profit to US$6.74bil (RM24.66bil), excluding minority interests, from a restated US$5.36bil a year ago, boosted by sharply higher crude oil prices and a production increase.
The average price of Tapis, a benchmark for Asian sweet crude, jumped 24.6% between the two periods.
Its total production during the six-month period rose 6.7%, with a 12% rise in gas output outweighing flat crude oil production.
Petronas’ total production rose to 1.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (bpd), with crude production averaging 704,700 bpd, up just 0.4%, and gas up to an equivalent of 925,400 bpd.
Half-year revenue rose 13.7% to US$24.29bil (RM88.85bil).
Petronas, like other state oil companies in Asia, is expanding aggressively overseas as regional demand for energy surges and crude oil resources at home become harder to find.
International oil and gas production surged 29% in the half year and accounted for a third of overall output, up from 27% a year earlier. New fields came on stream in Egypt and Indonesia, boosting the international contribution.
The company’s cash pile swelled 13% from a year earlier to US$13.7bil as at Sept 30, and debt fell US$677mil over the six months to US$11.23bil. A company official said maturities accounted for most of the fall in debt.
Petronas restated its 2005 first-half results to reflect its adoption since then of international accounting standards.
Meanwhile, Petronas said in a statement it has, through wholly-owned subsidiary PICL, subscribed for 176.5 million shares representing 10% of the post-initial public offering (IPO) share capital of Cairn India Ltd.
Cairn India, which will be floated on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India, is currently 100%-owned by Cairn Energy PLC, an independent exploration and production company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
“Upon completion of the IPO, Cairn India will hold all the ownership and operated interests in Cairn Energy’s Indian crude oil and natural gas development and production assets and the majority of its Indian crude oil and natural gas exploration assets,” it said.
Petronas said its shareholding in Cairn India represented a long-term supportive investment and hoped to build a positive and constructive relationship with the management of Cairn India in the future.
It, however, said it has no intention of increasing its stake in Cairn India. – Agencies