CNOOC 2012 Net Profit Falls 9.3%; Slightly Below Analysts' View

HONG KONG - CNOOC Ltd., which completed its acquisition of Canada's Nexen Inc. last month, Friday posted a 9.3% fall in 2012 net profit, a decline that was largely anticipated because of rising operating costs and higher resources tax expenses.

CNOOC, China's largest publicly traded offshore oil-and-gas producer by capacity, posted a net profit of 63.69 billion yuan (US $10.3 billion) in 2012, down from CNY70.26 billion the previous year. The figure was slightly below the average CNY64.86 billion net profit forecast of 32 analysts polled earlier by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 2.8% to CNY247.63 billion from CNY240.94 billion on higher oil and gas sales.

China's state-run CNOOC and its parent China National Offshore Oil Corp. have been the most aggressive among Chinese oil giants in terms of acquiring overseas shale gas and oil assets. Since 2011, the two have spent over US $24.8 billion on overseas upstream assets, mostly in Africa, Australia and Canada.

The Nexen acquisition, China's largest single overseas investment, is vital for CNOOC's long-term growth and energy security, as its oil-and-gas output growth has been slowing since 2011 due to maturing fields.

"We strongly believe that the acquisition of Nexen conforms to our development strategy and will bring long-term benefits to our shareholders," CNOOC Chairman Wang Yilin said Friday.

The company proposed a final dividend of HK$0.32, up from HK$0.28 a year earlier.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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