[HONG KONG] Cnooc Ltd, China's biggest offshore oil and gas explorer, posted a 40 per cent decline in first-quarter oil and gas sales because of lower crude prices.
Oil and gas sales dropped to 35.5 billion yuan (S$7.7 billion) in the three months ended March 31 from 59.1 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a statement Friday to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Cnooc, which gets most of its income from oil and gas production, didn't report profit for the period.
The explorer's average realised oil price fell 49 per cent to US$53.40 a barrel in the first quarter from US$104.63 a barrel in the same period last year. Brent, the benchmark for half the world's crude trading, has declined 43 per cent in the past 10 months.
Output rose 9.4 per cent to 118.3 million barrels of oil equivalent from a year earlier.
At its full-year result in March, Cnooc exceeded expectations with a 6.6 per cent increase in profit, beating larger peers PetroChina Co and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. Analysts said effective cost control led to higher earnings.