Chinese oil and gas company PetroChina is looking to spin off its marketing and trading business, reported Bloomberg News, citing people familiar with the development.

PetroChina is a subsidiary of the state-run China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and is also considering separate listings for its marketing and trading business, following the spinout.

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As part of the plan, CNPC is seeking suggestions from external consultants for the feasibility of PetroChina’s plan.

The sources noted that the consultations are in the early stages and a final decision has not been made by the state-owned company due to the complexity of business structures.

A surge in crude oil prices this year is said to have compelled PetroChina to assess the monetisation of the business, the sources noted.

Despite this, it is not clear whether the company would spin off the entire marketing business or only parts of it.

PetroChina’s main businesses include exploration and production, refining and chemicals, marketing, and natural gas and pipelines.

As per the latest annual report, PetroChina’s marketing segment reported a revenue of CNY2.17 trillion ($320bn) in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 45%.

This was primarily due to the surging price and sales volume of refined oil.

The marketing segment’s operating profit in 2021 stood at CNY13.28bn ($1.95bn).

As per the annual report, PetroChina’s marketing area comprises refined products, including overseas, as well as natural gas, crude oil, and chemical products, reported the publication.

In June 2022, Reuters reported that PetroChina  is looking to offload natural gas projects in Australia and oil sands in Canada to shift its focus towards more profitable sites in Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia.