Chinese oil and gas company PetroChina has returned to profit in the first half of this year amid an increase in oil prices and rebound in fuel demand.

In the first six months to June, the company’s net profit attributable to owners of the company totalled $8.19bn (RMB53.04bn). This represents a turnaround from a net loss of $4.63bn (RMB29.98bn) incurred in the same period last year.

Revenue in the first half of the year amounted to $184.7bn (RMB1,196.58bn).

PetroChina also reported a stable financial position with its gearing ratio decreasing by 0.1% compared to the end of last year.

The company also announced an interim cash dividend of RMB0.13 per share for its shareholders.

In a statement, PetroChina said: “Riding on rapid economic recovery in China, a rebound in demand, and rise in international oil prices, the company focused on optimising production and operation, and continued to enhance quality and profitability.

“Oil and gas industrial chain operated steadily with the operation quality and efficiency significantly improved, helping the company to achieve the best interim performance in the past seven years.”

The company further noted that oil and gas equivalent output grew by 3.5% on a year-on-year basis to 735 million barrels.

Marketable natural gas output totalled 2.16 trillion cubic feet, a jump of 6.7% from the previous year period. Additionally, domestic natural gas sales volume grew by 17.6% to 96.3 billion cubic metres.

PetroChina’s Exploration and Production segment reported an operating profit of $4.77bn (RMB30.87bn).

The company’s all other segments also achieved profits in the first half of the year.