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China’s Oil Giants Bet On Low-Carbon Drive

While reporting materially higher profits thanks to increased oil demand and prices this year, China’s top oil firms tout the acceleration of investment in low-carbon energy sources as part of strategies to comply with the Chinese target of carbon neutrality by 2060.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and PetroChina all reported significantly higher profits for the first half of 2021, and an increased focus on research, development, and plans for low-carbon energy sources, Nikkei Asia reports.

Sinopec, the top refiner in China, aims to “become the largest hydrogen provider,” the firm’s president Ma Yongsheng told an earnings call on Monday, as quoted by Nikkei Asia.

In March this year, Sinopec said it would build 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations by 2025.

“Sinopec has included “clean” in the company vision for the first time. Carrying the goal of building China’s largest hydrogen energy company, Sinopec will also be promoting clean energy construction through accelerating the transformation of hydrogen sources from grey hydrogen to blue and green hydrogen,” the company said back in March.

PetroChina is set to invest a third of its capital budget in each of oil, natural gas, and new energies by 2035, chairman Dai Houliang said last week, as per Nikkei Asia.

“We will vigorously develop oil and gas and new energy business and efficiently develop refining and chemical sales and new material business,” PetroChina said in its first-half results release last week.

CNOOC, for its part, bet on using its offshore expertise in the offshore wind sector, as it reported record-high net oil and gas production. 

During the first half of 2021, CNOOC established a New Energy Department to proactively develop the new business, and used its advantages and continued to develop offshore wind power projects, the company said. CNOOC also plans to develop onshore photovoltaic and onshore wind power on a selective basis.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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