Exploration expenses eat into earnings
CNPC (Hong Kong), a unit of the country's largest oil company, said high exploration costs helped contribute to a 20 per cent fall in profit last year to HK$1.37 billion on sales of HK$3.84 billion, down 1.3 per cent.
The company plans a 12 HK cents dividend in June, subject to approval.
The company said exploration activity was raised to benefit from high global oil prices, but had yet to realise earnings gains.
Stripping out oilfield exploration expenses during 2007, profit after tax would have risen 1.5 per cent to HK$1.89 billion. Such expenses accounted for 27.5 per cent of profit after tax compared with 7.74 per cent in 2006.
CNPC (Hong Kong) has 11 oilfields in seven different countries, including the mainland, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Peru.