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PetroChina - world's leading oil producer

29th March 2012

PetroChina takes title of world’s biggest publically traded oil producer.

Beijing-based emerging oil giant, PetroChina, pumped 2.4m barrels per day in 2011, surpassing French rival Exxon by 100,000, it announced on 29 March.

Output increased 3.3 per cent in 2011 while Exxon's fell 5 per cent, said the company in a statement. Exxon's oil production also fell behind Russian energy company, Rosneft.

The company was created 13 years ago by the Chinese government to secure more oil to meet the country’s rapidly growing demand. It has since been working hard to drain China’s aging oil fields, estimated to stll contain more than 6.5bn barrels.

PetroChina’s success has also been secured by consistently outbidding western companies when purchasing petroleum reserves in overseas regions such as Iraq and Qatar. Since 2010, its acquisitions have totaled USD 7bn, about twice as much as Exxon, according to data provider Dealogic.

Analysts say Western oil firms like Exxon Mobil have been more conservative than the Chinese, mindful of their bottom line and investor returns. With oil prices up 19 per cent in 2011, they still made money without increasing production.

PetroChina is looking to build on its momentum in 2012; purchasing of gasoline and other petroleum products is projected to double between 2010 and 2035. "We must push ahead," PetroChina chairman Jiang Jiemin said in January.

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