CHINA'S CNOOC INVESTMENT UP TO 39%
FT - China's Cnooc on Thursday set out plans to raise capital spending by up to 39 per cent this year despite an anticipated fall in oil and gas production, as firming oil prices allow it to bring new projects on steam.
The annual forecast by Cnooc's listed unit serves as the first indication of output and investment plans by China's state-controlled oil producers, which also include China National Petroleum Corp or PetroChina and Sinopec. Cnooc's listed arm does not represent all of the output by its state-controlled parent company, but remains a good proxy for the position of the Chinese industry.
Cnooc said it plans to lift capital spending to between Rmb60bn and RMB70bn this year, from budgeted capex of Rmb50.3bn in 2016. It intends to produce between 450m and 460m barrels of oil equivalent this year, compared with an estimated 476m last year.
Five projects coming onstream this year and 20 projects under construction will allow Cnooc to increase net production to between 455m-465m BOE in 2018 and 460m-470m BOE in 2019, it said on Thursday.
Cnooc was the most proactive of Chinese oil firms in cutting spending as oil prices dove in recent years. Ultimately, all the Chinese oil companies have used the sustained period of low prices to retire ageing and no-longer-profitable fields.
China accounts for about half of the expected decline in oil production in Asia by 2020, when the region's output will be an estimated 1m barrels a day less than 2016 levels of 7.5m b/d, according to Angus Rodger, Asia Pacific upstream research director for energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
Cnooc's rivals Sinopec and PetroChina are also understood to have reduced crude production in 2016 while China's national gas output rose.Much of Cnooc's onshore gas production is under the unlisted parent company, and is not reflected in the listed company's results.
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