State-owned PetroChina, China’s largest oil and gas driller, posted a preliminary net income increase of between RMB 71 to 75 billion ($11.2 billion to $11.8 billion) year-on-year in 2021. The company’s 2020 net income was RMB 19 billion, reports Bloomberg. Brent crude rebounded to an average $71 a barrel in 2021 as vaccines let governments around the world lift harsh transportation restrictions that cut oil demand in 2020, when it averaged about $43 a barrel.
“The strong performance can be attributed to the oil price recovery and lower-than-expected import gas losses,” Morgan Stanley analysts including Jack Lu said Wednesday in a note.
PetroChina operates a fleet of refineries that produce transportation fuel. It’s also a major gas buyer and is required to import the fuel even if that means incurring losses. The company’s performance last year was the best in seven years.