BEIJING - PetroChina on Thursday reported a higher-than-expected net profit for the third quarter but still a 45% fall versus the record level a year earlier.
Net income of the Asia's largest oil and gas producer was 22.09 billion yuan ($3.45 billion), down from a record 40.05 billion yuan in the same period last year when the firm completed the spin-offs of its pipeline and storage facilities.
The net earning compared with an analysts' estimate of 15.8 billion yuan.
PetroChina also reported profit for the first nine months of 75.1 billion yuan, up more than seven fold from a year earlier owing to strong growth in oil and gas prices.
Crude oil production during the January-September period fell 5.6% on the year to 662.3 million barrels, while gas output grew 6.5% to 3,281 billion cubic feet.
In the first nine months, the firm processed 912 million barrels of crude oil, up 3.9% from the previous year.
Its natural gas sales gained 14% during the first nine months to 198.7 billion cubic meters (bcm), the bulk of which were domestic sales at 138 bcm, which represented 16% year-on-year growth.
The state energy giant has been expanding natural gas supply from sources such as Turkmenistan and Shell's carbon neutral LNG in recent months amid growing concern about climate change.
($1 = 6.3968 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu Editing by Robert Birsel) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +86 10 56692117;))