PetroChina says to hold investments steady in ’09

Business Materials 9 November 2008 10:35 (UTC +04:00)

PetroChina, Asia's top oil and gas firm, will keep investments steady next year, despite the backdrop of aworsening economic crisis, the firm's chief said on Saturday, TehranTimes reported.

Jiang Jiemin, speaking on the sidelines of a National Oil Company Forum in Beijing, echoed the views of many other top executives from state-owned energy firms when he said spending had not yet been trimmed.

"(Investment) won't decrease, neither will it increase," Jiang told reporters when asked how spending next year would compare to 2008.

Asked about acquisition plans for a company that in recent years has been following a "go out" plan to snap up assets around the world, Jiang would only say that "the financial crisis hasn't bottomed out yet".

The world's biggest state-owned oil companies are weathering the global financial crisis and the dive in crude prices for now, many of the top executives at the conference said on Friday.

But they warned that if international oil prices stay at current levels around $60 a barrel, projects needed to ensure long-term supplies could be put on ice.

Oil majors and public energy firms that have ventured into higher-cost frontiers to grow their production are already beginning to pull back on projects as credit grows scarce and oil's steep retreat in recent months threatens their profits.