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PetroChina Aims to Power All Its Output With Clean Energy by 2033

Chinese state oil and gas giant PetroChina plans to power all its drilling and refining activities with clean power by 2033 and to install massive renewable energy capacity this year.    

The Chinese firm is pledging to boost renewables operations just when international oil majors have started to walk back on some of their clean energy ambitions.

Shell, for example, reaffirmed earlier this month its ambitions to be a net-zero energy business by 2050 but eased its carbon intensity target for 2030 as it has shifted away from clean power sales to retail customers.

In contrast, PetroChina pledges to install as much as 30 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity this year, company executives said in an earnings press briefing on Wednesday, as carried by Bloomberg.

PetroChina also plans to invest in hydrogen production, carbon capture, and geothermal energy, executives said.

The state energy giant’s target now is that “all drilling and refining activities will be powered by clean energy” by 2033, chairman Dai Houliang said at the briefing. That’s much earlier than initial plans to have green energy power all operations by 2050.

Earlier this week, PetroChina reported a record-high profit for 2023, despite the drop in international oil and gas prices. The oil and gas giant benefited from a rebound in Chinese natural gas demand and rising domestic fuel sales. PetroChina’s natural gas sales in China rose by 6.1% year-on-year, while the operating profit from the natural gas business tripled.

Last year, Chinese natural gas and LNG demand rebounded from 2022, when the world’s top LNG importer was still under COVID-related lockdowns that were weighing on household and business consumption of all energy products. 

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Total revenues for PetroChina, however, slumped by 7% in 2023 compared to 2022, amid lower international oil and gas prices, which affected the upstream earnings. But in terms of company net profit, the downstream business more than offset the impact of the weaker oil and gas prices.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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