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Sinopec to boost overseas expansion as profit surges

Sinopec to boost overseas expansion as profit surges

Shanghai: China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia's biggest refiner, plans "rapid" overseas expansion to secure oil supplies after profit reached a record and as the nation's economic recovery spurs fuel demand, writes Bloomberg.

The Beijing-based company plans to buy overseas assets, including acquiring Addax Petroleum Corp. from its parent, Chairman Su Shulin told reporters in Hong Kong today. Net income surged to 22 billion yuan ($3.22 billion) in the second quarter, Huang Wensheng, spokesman at China Petroleum, known as Sinopec, said by phone.  

Chinese energy companies have spent at least $13 billion on overseas assets since December as they take advantage of lower valuations caused by the global recession to meet energy demand in the world's fastest growing major economy. Sinopec will invest in oil and gas fields overseas and expand refining ventures while focusing on cost reduction as it expects oil prices to rise in the second half, Su said.  

"Sinopec's main business is refining and it needs to increase its oil reserves and reduce its reliance on other oil producers," said Larry Grace, an independent oil analyst based in Hong Kong. "There's a government directive to increase overseas oil and gas assets."

First-half net income increased to 33.2 billion yuan from a restated 7.7 billion yuan a year earlier, Beijing-based Sinopec said yesterday in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange. Sales fell 27 percent to 534 billion yuan.

Sinopec also revised its first-quarter profit for 2008, Huang said today, without giving a figure.  [25/08/09]