China’s dominant oil firms have loosened their investment purse strings, apparently confident that profits will climb on rebounding crude prices following last year’s dry spell, Caixin reports. The Big Three – CNPC, CNOOC and Sinopec – recently committed to ambitious investment schedules for 2017 by announcing plans to spend around 371 billion yuan ($54 billion) combined. Budget plans were outlined by each company in March and April. CNPC said 75% of this year’s investments will target drilling and extraction projects at home and abroad in order “to stabilize oil exploration volume while increasing natural gas reserves.” The company said it will boost capital spending 11% to 191 billion yuan this year after four consecutive years of investment cuts. CNOOC, which focuses on offshore extraction, unveiled plans to spend between 60 billion and 70 billion yuan this year, a 40% increase from last year’s all-time low for new investment. Sinopec said it’s moving forward with 110 billion yuan in new spending this year.
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