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Cnooc Quarterly Sales Gain on Nexen-Acquisition Boost

Cnooc Headquarters in Beijing
Signage for Cnooc Ltd. is displayed on the company's headquarters in Beijing. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer, posted a 16 percent increase in third-quarter sales after output was boosted by the acquisition of Canada’s Nexen Inc.

Oil and natural gas sales were 56.1 billion yuan ($9.2 billion) in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with 48.4 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday. Cnooc, which gets almost all of its income from oil and gas production, doesn’t report quarterly profit.

Cnooc raised its first-half output by 23 percent to 198.10 million barrels of oil equivalent after buying Nexen earlier this year for $15.1 billion. Net oil and gas production rose 18 percent to 103.4 million barrels of oil equivalent in the third quarter.

“Revenue was in line with expectations and production was a strong number,” said Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “They are definitely ahead of plan on production.”

The stock fell 0.9 percent to HK$15.14 in Hong Kong as of 10:14 a.m. It has declined 9.8 percent in the year to date, compared with a 0.7 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Cnooc’s capital expenditure, including Nexen, jumped 49 percent to 22.38 billion yuan. The company is on track to meet its 2013 goal of producing 338 million to 348 million barrels of oil equivalent, excluding Nexen, Chief Financial Officer Zhong Hua said on a conference call yesterday.

Cnooc acquired a 10 percent stake in a 35-year production sharing contract to develop the Libra pre-salt oil discovery in the Santos Basin, Brazil this week. China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s biggest oil and gas producer, also acquired a 10 percent stake in the offshore project.

Download: Earnings

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