PetroChina posted first half net profit growth of 29.4%, attributing it to surging crude prices and growing demand. The South China Morning Post reported net earnings at mainland China's largest oil and gas producer hit US$10.13 billion, up from US$7.83 billion. The new figures make PetroChina the most profitable Asian company and are in line with market expectation. The main boost to profits was a 35.6% rise in oil prices that pushed up operating profits at the oil and gas production division by 39.6%. This was more than enough to make up for government fuel price caps that caused some losses in the refinery division. The company also announced plans to purchase the 67% stake in PetroKazakhstan owned by its parent company China National Petroleum Corp.