PetroChina Co. surpassed global rivals Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US) and OAO Rosneft to become the biggest oil producer among publicly traded companies last year.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows crude output by PetroChina compared with production of the world’s largest listed energy companies, in million barrels a day, based on Bloomberg calculations from company statements. The lower panel tracks Beijing-based PetroChina’s quarterly net income in million yuan, including the final three months of 2011 reported on March 29.
PetroChina plans “large scale” acquisitions to secure more oil and natural gas to help fuel the world’s second-biggest economy, Chairman Jiang Jiemin told reporters after the earnings report. The Hong Kong-listed company aims to spend at least $60 billion on global assets this decade to boost the share of overseas output to half of total production.
“There isn’t enough organic growth that can support such a growth, so PetroChina has to acquire the capacity through major acquisitions,” said Neil Beveridge, a senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in Hong Kong. For PetroChina to reach its overseas production goal, Beveridge said the company needs to add capacity equivalent to that of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), which produced a combined 3.2 million barrels a day of oil and gas last year.
PetroChina’s oil and gas production outside China rose 18 percent last year, five times faster than that of domestic fields, data from the company’s earnings statement show. Overseas output climbed to 120.8 million barrels, less than a tenth of the total of 1.3 billion barrels, or 3.5 million barrels a day of oil and gas. Based on both crude and gas, Exxon Chairman Rex Tillerson said on a teleconference March 8 that his company remains the biggest listed producer at 4.5 million barrels equivalent a day.
While PetroChina has emerged as the top publicly traded oil producer, the company still has “huge” potential to expand its output, Jiang said. Unlisted Saudi Arabian Oil Co. produces almost 10 million barrels a day of crude.
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