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PetroChina 3Q profit up 7.8 pct on strong output
PetroChina 3Q profit up 7.8 percent to $5.9B as stronger output, prices offset refining losses
By The Associated Press

SHANGHAI (AP) ' PetroChina Ltd., China's biggest oil and gas company, saw its third-quarter profit jump 7.8 percent as higher crude oil prices and output helped to offset losses in its refining business.

The Beijing-based company reported Thursday a profit of 37.4 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) in July-September, compared with 34.7 billion yuan a year earlier.

PetroChina reported a refining loss of 41.5 billion yuan ($6.5 billion) as higher costs for imported crude oil outpaced the gains in prices for its products.

But weakness in the refining sector was offset by a 45 percent increase in crude oil prices over the same period a year earlier, to $103.78 per barrel. The company's output in the first nine months of the year rose 5.1 percent, to 959.3 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Like other Chinese energy and resource companies, it has actively sought access to resources overseas to help diversify its risks and ensure a steady supply of oil and gas needed to power China's fast-growing economy.

PetroChina increased its refining by 10 percent in January-September, or about 2.7 million barrels a day. But it derives a larger share of its revenues from oil and gas production than rival Sinopec, which is mainly a refiner, helping to shield it from losses due to government controls on fuel prices.

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