by MARK RAO
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) almost doubled its profit for the second quarter ended June 30 this year (2Q18) as higher crude prices and lower impairments boosted the energy company financials.
For the quarter, the state-owned company posted RM13.6 billion net profit compared to RM7.05 billion in 2Q17, a 94% increase.
Turnover for the group grew 5% year-on-year (YoY) to RM59.2 billion on higher average realised prices, chiefly for petroleum products and crude oil and condensates, which were largely offset by the stronger ringgit direction noted in 2Q18.
For the quarter under review, the upstream business brought in RM37.3 billion in gross revenue – up 14.8% YoY – on higher crude oil prices recognised, while total production volume was marginally higher at 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The production volume was mainly supported by higher liquid production from the group’s upstream assets in Iraq and Turkmenistan.
Malaysia’s average sales gas volume was higher at 2.77 billion standard cubic feet per day (2.74 billion standard cubic feet per day in 2Q17) but liquefied natural gas sales were down 8.8% at 6.56 million tonnes.
Downstream revenue rose 25.3% YoY to RM 31.7 billion in 2Q18 due to higher volume and crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical product prices.
Petroleum products and crude oil sales volume were higher at 61.9 million barrels and 33.1 million barrels respectively, while petrochemical products sales increased 10% YoY to 2.2 million metric tonnes.
For the first half performance for 2018 (1H18), Petronas’ profit after tax increased 54% YoY to RM26.6 billion while revenue rose 8% to RM117.2 billion over the same period.
The national oil company further increased its dividend payout commitment for 2018 to RM24 billion from its previous RM19 billion for the year, owing to the stronger fiscal performance.
A total of RM16 billion in dividends to the government were paid out last year.
The company further expects its capital expenditure to be between RM50 billion and RM55 bilion for the 2018 fiscal year, after having spent RM19.8 billion in 1H18.