(EnergyAsia, March 30 2012, Friday) — Helped by high crude prices last year, China’s leading offshore oil producer CNOOC Limited said it earned a record 70.26 billion yuan in net profit for a 29.1% increase over 2010. (US$1=6.3 yuan).

Its revenue rose 29.5% to 189.28 billion yuan, boosted by the record average realised oil price of US$109.75 per barrel and natural gas at US$5.15 per thousand cubic feet, representing an increase of 40.8% and 14.7% over 2010 respectively.

With basic earnings of 1.57 yuan per share (EPS), the company said it board has proposed paying shareholders an after-tax year-end dividend of HK$0.28 per share. (US$1=HK$7.76).

CNOOC said its net production edged up 0.7% to 331.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), despite losses suffered when production was briefly suspended after an oil spill at its offshore Penglai 19-3 field.

For the year, CNOOC said it made 13 discoveries and successfully appraised 18 oil and gas structures including three discoveries abroad that contributed to its 158% reserve replacement ratio.

Justifying the 26.7% rise in last year’s capital expenditure of US$6.42 billion, the company started production at two offshore fields and development work on another 16 projects. CNOOC said it invested US$1.46 billion on exploration, US$3.66 billion on development, and US$1.18 billion on production.

The company said its cost of production rose 25% to US$30.58 per BOE, due to a combination of increased tax payment and “the large increase in raw materials price and service fee.”

CNOOC’s CEO, Li Fanrong, said the Penglai oil spill’s “unprecedented difficulties” has led the company to undertake “thorough safety inspection on offshore production operations” and enhanced “HSE management and emergency response capabilities”