Cnooc First-Quarter Sales Climb 13% on Higher Oil Production

Cnooc Ltd. (883), China’s biggest offshore energy explorer, posted a 13 percent gain in first- quarter sales as higher output helped counter a slump in the price of oil.

Sales rose to 55.3 billion yuan ($8.97 billion) in the three months ended March 31, the Beijing-based company said in a statement today. Output rose 17 percent from a year earlier to 93.6 million barrels of oil equivalent. Cnooc, which gets most of its income from oil and gas production, didn’t report first- quarter profit.

The company’s average realized oil price was $110.29, down 8.7 percent from the same period last year.

Cnooc has forecast a production increase of as much as 1.6 percent this year, down from 3.2 percent in 2012. Cnooc, which completed the purchase of Nexen Inc. earlier this year, expects the Canadian company to add 69.3 million barrels of oil equivalent to its output this year.

The Chinese explorer’s shares have fallen 12 percent in Hong Kong trading in the past year. That compares to a 8.4 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. Cnooc fell 0.3 percent to close at HK$14.40 today. The earnings were announced after the close of markets.

To contact the reporters on this story: Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong at bhaas7@bloomberg.net; Aibing Guo in Hong Kong at aguo10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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