Brightoil Petroleum (Holdings) has announced its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2014.
During the period, profit attributable to the owners of the group increased 3% year-on-year to HK$561 million (€63.6 million). Basic earnings per share amounted to 6.41 HK cents, up 3% from a year ago. Total revenue climbed 11% from HK$40.3 billion in 1HFY2014 to HK$44.9 billion for the period as the twin-engines business model (upstream and mid-downstream businesses) enabled the group to secure steady growth amid volatile oil prices.
The Marine Transportation segment recorded its best ever results during the period as compared to a loss in the same period of last fiscal year. Meanwhile, the International Trading and Bunkering segment continued to develop at a steady pace even at this period of severe oil price volatility, primarily due to our diligent risk management. As for the upstream business, aggregate production at the Caofeidian Project in Bohai Bay between July and December outstripped the original target for the project by 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent. Furthermore, the group submitted a formal bid in late 2014 to acquire from Newfield Global, its stakes in oil field blocks in Bohai Bay and the Pearl River with the aim of further boosting its oil and gas reserves and production.
Dr. Sit Kwong Lam, chairman of Brightoil Petroleum, says: ‘International oil prices plunged dramatically in the second half of 2014, as evidenced by the 50% drop in the price of crude within a span of six months. This posed severe challenges to operators in the oil and gas sectors, and the group responded proactively to the situation. While exercising stringent control of operating costs in upstream operations, we capitalised on these valuable opportunities and are looking for superior oil and gas assets for acquisition in a prudent manner in order to forge Brightoil Petroleum into a resources-focused enterprise with an emphasis on upstream business complemented by mid-to-downstream operations.
‘Our ‘twin-engines’ model ensured our steady business growth. The contango situation resulting from the downward spiral of oil prices led to increased demand for tankers as a means of floating storage which, combined with winter seasonal demand, helped us achieve our best ever results in the Marine Transportation business.’
Oil storage and terminal facilities
During the period, about 60% of the civil works and the main body of storage tanks of the Zhoushan Waidiao Island Project and about 90% of the hydraulic works of the terminal were completed. The Phase I storage and terminal facilities are slated to enter operation in the second half of 2015 while the Phase II facilities will come on stream in 2016. Meanwhile, all land-levelling works for the Dalian Changxing Island Project were completed and formalities for government approval of the project were made. The Phase I storage facilities will commence operation next year. Both of these two projects are located in China’s main deep-water ports and bulk commodity trade centres. Upon commencement of full operation, Brightoil Petroleum will become one of the world’s top five oil storage service providers and will receive stable rental income.
Lam concludes: ‘Not only did the collapse in global oil prices send shock waves through oil-related industries but it has also created unprecedented opportunities for major oil consumers like China. In such complicated market environment, the group will continue to exercise stringent risk management and to enhance its operating efficiency. At the same time, we will actively look for quality upstream assets with a primary focus on natural gas resources to reinforce our upstream operations. China’s demand for oil storage facilities is poised to further accelerate underpinned by continue growth in the domestic economy and rising needs for national strategic oil reserves. When our projects in Zhoushan and Dalian commence operation, they will generate stable rental income for us and create synergies and economies of scale with our existing bunkering and trading businesses to drive the Group’s steady development.’