CNOOC posts 19% drop in profits after oil-field closure

"The odds now look like CNOOC is in a very good position," says HSBC's Thomas Hilboldt

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China's largest offshore oil and gas company, CNOOC, posted a drop of 19% in profits in the first half of the year.

The state-owned company blamed the fall on the closure of its biggest offshore oil-field domestically.

Net income was down 19% to 31.87bn yuan ($5bn; £3.2bn) from 39.34bn yuan a year earlier, CNOOC said in a report.

CNOOC is looking to expand its overseas presence with a $15.1bn takeover of Canadian rival Nexen.

The Chinese company's bid is still awaiting regulatory approval in Canada. If it goes through it would be the biggest foreign takeover by a Chinese company.

CNOOC, and other oil producers, have seen profits hit by a softening of crude prices as the global economy slows.

"During the first half of the year, downward pressure for the world's economic growth was mounting as Europe's debt crisis continued to deepen and international oil prices decreased significantly from a high level," said chief executive Li Fanrong in the report.

CNOOC has also seen output fall 4.6% from the previous year mainly because of the shutting down of its biggest domestic field, Penglai 19-3, by the government last year following an oil spill, Mr Li added.

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