China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec; SNP.NYSE, 600688.SH, 0338.HK) reported a 25% increase profit to RMB20.6 billion (US$3.2 billion) in the first quarter, as the company dipped into its crude stockpiles to keep the cost of oil in check, Bloomberg reported. The company’s results beat both the RMB19.9 billion median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg and the 14% rise in profit posted by rival PetroChina (PTR.NYSE, 601857.SH, 0857.HK). Chinese controls on the price of oil pushed Sinopec’s refining losses to RMB576 million and PetroChina’s to RMB6.1billion in the first three months. Chinese fuel prices rose less than 5% from the previous year, while New York crude was up an average of 20% in the first quarter. Sinopec’s crude output fell 5.8% in the first quarter to 10.98 million tons because of maintenance at overseas fields, while natural gas output climbed 30% to 3.63 billion cubic meters.