PetroChina, the country’s biggest oil and gas producer, hopes to boost its cash flow through by issuing US$2.2 billion in three-year bonds, Bloomberg reported. The company said this was the last batch of a planned US$4.4 billion issue, the first part of which was sold in January. The capital is required following an increase in windfall tax payments last year. PetroChina expects to post a smaller profit this year than in 2008, and it plans to reduce spending on projects by 10%. The International Energy Agency has trimmed its forecast for Chinese oil consumption this year by 0.6% to 7.9 million barrels a day in response to indications that domestic demand is weaker than previously thought, due to factory closures and cutbacks in heavy industries such as steel and aluminum. Official figures show that crude runs in January and February fell 6.9% to around 51.57 million tons, or an average of 6.41 million barrels a day.
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