Chinese oil giant PetroChina's net profit for the third quarter just ended has fallen by 23% from the same period last year, suffering from lower crude prices and weak demand.
Net profit was $4.5bn (30.8bn yuan), down from $5.9bn (40.3bn yuan) for the same period in 2008.
Net profit for the nine months ending 30 September was $11.9bn (81.3bn yuan) compared with $13.9bn (94.7bn yuan) in the corresponding period in 2008, representing a 14% drop.
The company said that its production unit suffered from sharply lower crude prices, earning an average of $49 a barrel over the first nine months of the year, compared with $97.24 for the same period of 2008. It did not give third-quarter figures.
For the first nine months of 2009, PetroChina generated 631.2 million barrels of crude oil, compared with 655.7 million barrels for the same period in 2008, representing a 3.7% drop.
The company generated 1,524.8bn cubic feet of marketable natural gas, compared with 1,369.4 billion cubic feet for the same period in 2008, representing 11.3% year-on-year growth.
For the first nine months of 2009, PetroChina processed 607.1 million barrels of crude oil compared with 642.5 million barrels for the corresponding period in 2008, representing a 5.5% drop.
The company generated 53.91 million tons of gasoline, diesel and kerosene, compared with 55.59 million tons for the same period in 2008, representing a 3% year-on-year decline.
In the natural gas and pipeline operations, PetroChina said that it aggressively advanced with the development of key oil and gas pipelines.
The company proceeded with the development of the Sebei-Xining-Lanzhou double gas pipeline and the Second West-East gas pipeline, as well as the extension of the Second Shaanxi-Beijing gas pipeline, and the Dalian and Jiangsu LNG projects.