PetroChina, China’s biggest oil and gas producer, Thursday reported a better-than-expected first half profit, thanks to a rebound in crude oil prices, Caixin reports. Net profit for the first half reached 12.7 billion yuan ($1.91 billion), a surge from 528 million yuan in the similar period last year, the state oil giant reported. It was the highest six-month profit since the first half of 2015. PetroChina’s revenue rose 32% to 975.9 billion for the first half on higher prices of crude oil, natural gas and other products as well as an increase in sales volume. Wang Dongjin, PetroChina’s vice-chairman and president, said he expected oil prices to continue recovering and reach a range of $60 and $80 by 2020. At a Thursday briefing in Hong Kong, Wang denied recent media reports that the company is seeing a flurry of departures of employees in the US and Canada, sparking speculation that the company is reducing its presence in North America.