Two of China's major oil companies say that their profits slumped in the first half of 2015, as a sharp decline in international crude prices hit upstream earnings.
BEIJING, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Two of China's major oil companies said on Wednesday that their profits slumped in the first half of 2015, as a sharp decline in international crude prices hit upstream earnings.
Sinopec Corp., Asia's largest refiner, posted profits of 25.4 billion yuan ($3.96 billion), down 22 percent from 32.5 billion yuan a year earlier, the company said in a filing with the Hong Kong bourse.
The state-controlled company's exploration and production segment spent the first half in the red, posting an operating loss of 1.8 billion yuan versus a profit of 28.3 billion yuan a year earlier, as its crude oil production fell 2.1 pct on year to 174.1 million barrels.
The refining division, which processed 118.9 million tonnes of crude in the first half, increased its operating profit to 15.3 billion yuan from 9.8 billion yuan a year.
The state-controlled company plans to cut back operations at its refineries by around 5 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the first half of the year as fuel inventories rise and demand for diesel slows, industry sources told Reuters.
Its marketing and distribution business reported an operating profit of 15.2 billion yuan, down from 18.8 billion in the first half of last year.
The chemicals division posted a turn-around profit of 10.1 billion yuan, compared with a loss of 4 billion yuan a year earlier.
China's top offshore oil producer, CNOOC Ltd., reported a net profit of 14.73 billion yuan ($2.30 billion) for the first half, down 56.1 percent from 33.6 billion a year earlier, according to unaudited results filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange.
CNOOC's net production of oil and gas for the first-half was up 13.5 percent on year to 240.1 million barrels of oil equivalent, with the state-controlled company maintaining production targets set earlier in the year.
Profits from the exploration and production segment fell to 19.8 billion yuan from 40.9 billion yuan a year ago.
CNOOC Chairman Yang Hua said in the filing that the "severe operating environment" is expected to continue through the second half of the year, and that the company will "focus more on economic efficiency" rather than just on "production volume".
($1 = 6.4095 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Editing by William Hardy)
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