The first-half results PetroChina
Oil production was essentially flat year over year. Natural gas did what it could to prop up overall production growth, which came in a little shy of 4%. This isn't a thrilling figure by any means, but it still beats the growth at ExxonMobil
Like rival energy firms, PetroChina is suffering from serious cost pressures. Per-barrel production costs -- a.k.a. lifting costs -- rose 20% to $7.10. That's not a bad figure in absolute terms, but so great a rise in costs without an offsetting boost in output or price realizations makes for some ugly operating-earnings comparisons. Sure enough, segment earnings dropped 23%; only the strong performance of PetroChina's other businesses saved the company's bottom line from a real beating.
I'd love to see PetroChina's reports include a return on average capital employed (ROACE) figure -- a variant of the Foolish ROIC metric. Firms like Total and Nabors Industries
PetroChina has an immense capital spending program in place, exceeding that of Royal Dutch Shell