Sales at China National Offshore Oil Corp slowed last year as a result of oil spills and unsuccessful acquisitions abroad. According to Deputy General Manager Lv Bo, sales reached 480 billion yuan ($76.1) in 2011, a 35% increase from 2010, which is significantly slower than the 78% growth in revenue to $56.6 billion that CNOOC enjoyed between 2009 and 2010.
Spills in the Bohai bay area, in particular the Penglai 19-3 oilfield leak last June, cost the state-owned giant dearly as production was shut down for some time at the request of China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA). Another leak at the Zhuhai gas processing terminal in December called the company's safety record into question.
CNOOC also saw the collapse of a $7.1 billion dollar joint venture bid for BP Plc's Argentine unit. BP claims the blame lies with the Chinese authorities, whereas CNOOC has suggested that BP deliberately scuppered the deal, although ultimately the real reason remains unclear.
Nonetheless, CNOOC is optimistic about the year ahead. Deepwater drilling exploration of China's virgin oilfields off the south coast could potentially yield good results, with early forecasts indicating output doubling by the end of the decade and potentially tripling by the 2030.
The corporation produced 46.61 million metric tons of oil last year, with natural gas at 16.7 billion cubic metres, marking record profits according to CNOOC chairman Wang Yilin.
Published 23rd February, 2012
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