The net profits of PetroChina Co. Ltd., China's top oil and gas producer, fell 62.7 percent year on year to 25.4 billion yuan (3.97 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of the year, the company announced on Thursday.
Business revenues hit 877.6 billion yuan, down 23.9 percent year on year.
The profit drop is attributable to falling international oil prices, downward pressure on the domestic economy and sluggish demand for oil and gas, said PetroChina board chairman Wang Yilin.
Drops in crude oil prices caused sharp profit decreases in oil exploration. The firm's oil exploration and production businesses made a first-half profit of 32.9 billion yuan, down 67.8 percent year on year.
But slumping crude oil prices meant lower costs in the refinery and chemical businesses. In the first six months, the company's refinery and chemical sector reported operating profits of 4.66 billion yuan, the first such profits for the company since 2011.
The company's share price on the Shanghai stock market gained 2.33 percent to 8.78 yuan prior to the release of the report on Thursday.