PetroChina will take over the management of parent company China National Petroleum's refining and petrochemical assets in Daqing, Heilongjiang province, which may lead to their injection into the listed company.
The management of Daqing Petroleum and Chemical will be transferred to PetroChina from July 1.
No figures have been disclosed except that Daqing Petroleum has 6.5 billion yuan of assets and 18,000 employees, and that it aims to have a turnover of 12.7 billion yuan in 2010, representing an average annual growth of about 20 per cent.
The move has sparked speculation that the restructuring will pave the way for PetroChina to take over the assets of Daqing Petroleum, part of the downstream operations of the mainland's largest oilfield.
In some sectors, such as electricity, the management by listed companies of assets on behalf of the parent firms usually precedes as asset injection.
When it listed in 1999, PetroChina stripped out the quality core refining and base petrochemicals assets of Daqing Petroleum, leaving it with non-core operations, such as plant maintenance, engineering and downstream processing of base chemicals. These have since become increasingly viable.