Beijing oil company PetroChina has become the world’s largest publicly-traded oil producer, surpassing Exxon Mobil Corp. in production last year, reported several international news agencies.
PetroChina pumped 2.4 million barrels of oil a day in 2011, exceeding Exxon’s daily output by 100,000 barrels.
Exxon's oil production declined 5% in 2011, also falling behind Russian energy company Rosneft, according to the same reports. Meanwhile, PetroChina pumped 3.3 percent more oil than the year before.
The Chinese government owns 86% of PetroChina, and the company’s focus is on providing more oil to fuel the Chinese economy, rather than boosting profits, according to Forbes.
It has increased production by pumping as much as it can from China's older oil fields and spending about twice as much as Exxon since 2010 on acquiring new reserves in Iraq, Australia, Africa, Qatar and Canada.
However PetroChina’s 2011 profits dipped 5% to 21 billion dollars last year, while Exxon Mobil’s profits increased 35% to 41.1 billion, Forbes reported.
Exxon remains the largest publicly traded energy company in the world when output of both natural gas and oil is counted. PetroChina comes in third, after Exxon and BP.
And, Forbes notes, PetroChina still has a way to go to catch up with national oil companies like Saudi Aramco which has an output of 7.9 million barrels of oil a day.