Chi­nese firms slip in en­ergy rank­ings

Three en­ergy gi­ants were in the top 10 last year; lower oil prices blamed for dip

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York paulwelitzkin@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

A slump in oil and coal prices has left China with­out a com­pany in the top 10 of an an­nual global en­ergy-in­dus­try rank­ing, but five ad­di­tional Chi­nese com­pa­nies made the list from 2015.

S&P Global Platts re­leased its an­nual list of the top 250 global en­ergy com­pa­nies on Thurs­day and no Chi­nese firms were in the top 10. Last year, CNOOC Ltd (China Na­tional Off­shore Oil Cor­po­ra­tion), PetroChina Co Ltd and China Shen­hua En­ergy Co Ltd made the top 10, ranked fourth, fifth and ninth, re­spec­tively.

“CNOOC, PetroChina and Shen­hua En­ergy fell out of the top 10 this year. I’d say that the first two, like other oil and gas ma­jors, were a vic­tim of lower oil prices, sap­ping their rev­enue and profit. Shen­hua (China’s largest coal com­pany) suf­fered from weaker coal val­ues, lower coal de­mand and stalling power de­mand growth in China,” Robert Perkins, a se­nior en­ergy writer and ed­i­tor with Platts said.

Shen­hua slipped from its no. 9 rank­ing in 2015 to 25th place as its as­set rank, rev­enue and profit all de­clined. CNOOC placed 22nd on the list, while PetroChina was ranked 16th this year. China Petroleum & Chem­i­cal Corp (also known as Sinopec) was the high­est ranked Chi­nese com­pany at 13.

Platts said one of the big­gest trends for the year has been the fall­out from tum­bling oil and nat­u­ral-gas prices: “The oil price down­turn has dev­as­tated the earn­ings and prof­its of oil and gas pro­duc­ers while down­siz­ing and the lower price deck has shrunk their as­set val­ues.”

Five more Chi­nese en­ergy com­pa­nies were added to the top 250 this year from 2015 ,“mostly power pro­duc­ers and util­i­ties ben­e­fit­ing from lower in­put costs”, noted Perkins.

Util­i­ties and re­fin­ers in Asia were the main ben­e­fi­cia­ries of lower oil and gas prices in 2015, en­joy­ing lower fuel bills and spo­radic ad­just­ments to reg­u­lated pric­ing, which lagged the sharp fall in in­put costs.

Stephanie Wil­son, a man­ag­ing ed­i­tor for Platts in Asia, said Asian util­i­ties over­all have gained as a re­sult of fall­ing prices across com­modi­ties whether the com­pa­nies use coal, oil or liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas.

“Most coun­tries in the re­gion have reg­u­lated power tar­iffs, mean­ing their in­put costs have fallen sig­nif­i­cantly, while their down­stream sale prices are be­ing read­justed down more grad­u­ally. Some­times it re­ally pays to have reg­u­lated prices,” Wil­son said.

De­spite slow­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, China re­tained its role as the world’s largest en­ergy con­sumer, pro­ducer and net im­porter in 2015, ac­count­ing for 23 per­cent of global en­ergy con­sump­tion and 34 per­cent of net en­ergy con­sump­tion growth. The coun­try has be­come the world’s top gen­er­a­tor of so­lar en­ergy, with more than 16 per­cent of the global to­tal, over­tak­ing Ger­many and the US, said Platts.

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