20-F 1 d440437d20f.htm FORM 20-F Form 20-F
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
Form
20-F
 
 
(Mark One)
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
or
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.
or
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
or
 
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
  
Date of event requiring this shell company report
                    
 
 
For the transition period from
                    
to
                    
Commission File Number
1-15006
 
 

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
PetroChina Company Limited
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
 
 
The People’s Republic of China
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
 
9 Dongzhimen North Street
Dongcheng District, Beijing 100007
The People’s Republic of China,
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
 
Chai Shouping
Telephone number: (8610) 59982622
Facsimile number: (8610) 62099557
Email address:
 
zhouyunpeng@petrochina.com.cn
Address: 9 Dongzhimen North Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100007, The People’s Republic of China
Wei Fang
Telephone number: (852) 2899 2010
Facsimile number: (852) 2899 2390
Email address: hko@petrochina.com.hk
Address: Suite 3705, Tower 2, Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Hong Kong
(Name, telephone,
e-mail
and/or facsimile number and address of registrant’s contact person)
 
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
 
Title of Each Class
 
Trading Symbol
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
American Depositary Shares, each representing 100
H Shares, par value RMB1.00 per share*
H Shares, par value RMB1.00 per share
 
PTR
 
New York Stock Exchange, Inc.
New York Stock Exchange, Inc.**
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.
None
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
None
(Title of Class)
 
 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:
 
A Shares, par value RMB1.00 per share***
  161,922,077,818
(1)
H Shares, par value RMB1.00 per share
  21,098,900,000****
 
(1)
Includes 146,882,339,136 A Shares held by CNPC and 15,039,738,682 A Shares held by the public shareholders.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a
well-known
seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
If this is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Note — Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act:
 
Large Accelerated Filer  ☒   Accelerated Filer  ☐   
Non-Accelerated
Filer  ☐
  Emerging Growth company  
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐
The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
☐    U.S. GAAP
   ☒    International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board    ☐    Other
 
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17  ☐    Item 18  ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐    No  
(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PRECEDING FIVE YEARS)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.    Yes  ☐    No  ☐
 
 
*    PetroChina’s H Shares are listed and traded on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.
**    Not for trading, but only in connection with the registration of American Depository Shares.
***    PetroChina’s A Shares became listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on November 5, 2007.
****    Includes
902,243,200
 H Shares represented by American Depositary Shares.
 
 
 

Table of Contents
 
    
Page
 
     1  
     5  
     7  
Item 1
          Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors      7  
Item 2
          Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable      7  
Item 3
          Key Information      7  
      Risk Factors      7  
Item 4
          Information on the Company      23  
      Introduction      23  
      Exploration and Production      25  
      Refining and Chemicals      36  
      Marketing      39  
      Natural Gas and Pipeline      41  
      Competition      42  
      Environmental Matters      44  
      Properties, Plants and Equipment      45  
      Intellectual Property      45  
      Regulatory Matters      46  
Item 4 A
          Unresolved Staff Comments      55  
Item 5
          Operating and Financial Review and Prospects      55  
      General      55  
      Operating Results      60  
      Liquidity and Capital Resources      65  
      Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements      70  
           70  
      Assets Retirement Obligation      70  
      Research and Development      71  
      Trend Information      72  
      Recent development      74  
      Other Information      74  
Item 6
          Directors, Senior Management and Employees      74  
      Directors, Senior Management and Supervisors      74  
      Compensation      85  
      Board Practices      85  
      Employees      88  
      Share Ownership      88  
Item 7
          Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions      89  
      Major Shareholders      89  
      Related Party Transactions      89  
      Interests of Experts and Counsel      95  
Item 8
          Financial Information      95  
      Financial Statements      95  
      Legal Proceedings      95  
      Dividend Policy      95  
      Significant Changes      97  
Item 9
          The Offer and Listing      97  
      Trading Market Information      97  
Item 10
          Additional Information      98  
 
i

    
Page
 
      Memorandum and Articles of Association      98  
      Material Contracts      102  
      Foreign Exchange Regulation      103  
      Taxation      103  
      Documents on Display      109  
Item 11
          Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk      109  
Item 12
          Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities      112  
     113  
Item 13
          Defaults, Dividends Arrearages and Delinquencies      113  
Item 14
          Material Modifications to the Rights to Security Holders and Use of Proceeds      113  
Item 15
          Controls and Procedures      113  
Item 16 A
          Audit Committee Financial Expert      113  
Item 16 B
          Code of Ethics      114  
Item 16 C
          Principal Accountant Fees and Services      114  
Item 16 D
          Exemptions from Listing Standards for Audit Committees      115  
Item 16 E
          Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers      115  
Item 16 F
          Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant      115  
Item 16 G
          Corporate Governance      116  
Item 16 H
          Mine Safety Disclosure      117  
Item 16 I
          Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections      117  
     118  
Item 17
          Financial Statements      118  
Item 18
          Financial Statements      118  
Item 19
          Exhibits      118  
     120  
    
F-1
 
 
ii

CERTAIN TERMS AND CONVENTIONS
Conventions Which Apply to this Annual Report
Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this annual report to:
 
   
“CNPC” or “CNPC group” are to our parent, China National Petroleum Corporation and its affiliates and subsidiaries, excluding PetroChina, its subsidiaries and its interests in
long-term
investments, and where the context refers to any time prior to the establishment of CNPC, those entities and businesses which were contributed to CNPC upon its establishment.
 
   
“PetroChina”, “we”, “our”, “our company”, “the Company” and “us” are to: PetroChina Company Limited, a joint stock company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China with limited liability and its subsidiaries and branch companies.
 
   
“PRC” or “China” are to the People’s Republic of China, but does not apply to its Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan for purposes of this annual report.
We publish our consolidated financial statements in Renminbi or RMB. In this annual report, IFRS refers to International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board.
Conversion Table
 
1
barrel-of-oil
equivalent
  
= 1 barrel of crude oil
  = 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas
1 cubic meter
  
= 35.315 cubic feet
 
1 ton of crude oil
  
= 1 metric ton of crude oil
  = 7.389 barrels of crude oil (assuming an API gravity of 34 degrees)
Certain Oil and Gas Terms
Unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the meanings shown below:
 
“acreage”
The total area, expressed in acres, over which an entity has interests in exploration or production. Net acreage is the entity’s interest, expressed in acres, in the relevant exploration or production area.
 
“condensate”
Light hydrocarbon substances produced with natural gas that condense into liquid at normal temperatures and pressures associated with surface production equipment.
 
“crude oil”
Crude oil, including condensate and natural gas liquids.
 
“developed reserves”
Under the reserves rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, developed reserves are reserves of any category that can be expected to be recovered:
 
  (i) through existing wells with existing equipment and operating methods or in which the cost of the required equipment is relatively minor compared to the cost of a new well; and
 
  (ii) through installed extraction equipment and infrastructure operational at the time of the reserves estimate if the extraction is by means not involving a well.
 
1

“development cost”
For a given period, costs incurred to obtain access to proved reserves and to provide facilities for extracting, treating, gathering and storing the oil and gas.
 
“finding cost”
For a given period, costs incurred in identifying areas that may warrant examination and in examining specific areas that are considered to have prospects of containing oil and gas reserves, including costs of drilling exploratory wells and
exploratory-type
test wells. Finding cost is also known as exploration cost.
 
“lifting cost”
For a given period, costs incurred to operate and maintain wells and related equipment and facilities, including applicable operating costs of support equipment and facilities and other costs of operating and maintaining those wells and related equipment and facilities. Lifting cost is also known as production cost.
 
“natural gas liquids”
Hydrocarbons that can be extracted in liquid form during natural gas production. Ethane and pentanes are the predominant components, with other heavier hydrocarbons also present in limited quantities.
 
“offshore”
Areas under water with a depth of five meters or greater.
 
“onshore”
Areas of land and areas under water with a depth of less than five meters.
 
“primary distillation capacity”
At a given point in time, the maximum volume of crude oil a refinery is able to process in its basic distilling units.
 
“proved reserves”
Under the SEC reserves rules, proved reserves are those quantities of oil and gas, which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible — from a given date forward, from known reservoirs, and under existing economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations — prior to the time at which contracts providing the right to operate expire, unless evidence indicates that renewal is reasonably certain, regardless of whether deterministic or probabilistic methods are used for the estimation. The project to extract the hydrocarbons must have commenced or the operator must be reasonably certain that it will commence the project within a reasonable time.
 
  (i) The area of the reservoir considered as proved includes:
 
  (A) The area identified by drilling and limited by fluid contacts, if any, and (B) Adjacent undrilled portions of the reservoir that can, with reasonable certainty, be judged to be continuous with it and to contain economically producible oil or gas on the basis of available geoscience and engineering data.
 
  (ii) In the absence of data on fluid contacts, proved quantities in a reservoir are limited by the lowest known hydrocarbons (LKH) as seen in a well penetration unless geoscience, engineering, or performance data and reliable technology establishes a lower contact with reasonable certainty.
 
2

  (iii) Where direct observation from well penetrations has defined a highest known oil (HKO) elevation and the potential exists for an associated gas cap, proved oil reserves may be assigned in the structurally higher portions of the reservoir only if geoscience, engineering, or performance data and reliable technology establish the higher contact with reasonable certainty.
 
  (iv) Reserves which can be produced economically through application of improved recovery techniques (including, but not limited to, fluid injection) are included in the proved classification when:
 
  (A) Successful testing by a pilot project in an area of the reservoir with properties no more favorable than in the reservoir as a whole, the operation of an installed program in the reservoir or an analogous reservoir, or other evidence using reliable technology establishes the reasonable certainty of the engineering analysis on which the project or program was based; and (B) The project has been approved for development by all necessary parties and entities, including governmental entities.
 
  (v) Existing economic conditions include prices and costs at which economic producibility from a reservoir is to be determined. The price shall be the average price during the
12-month
period prior to the ending date of the period covered by the report, determined as an unweighted arithmetic average of the
first-day-of-the-month
price for each month within such period, unless prices are defined by contractual arrangements, excluding escalations based upon future conditions.
 
“reserves-to-production
ratio”
For any given well, field or country, the ratio of proved reserves to annual production of crude oil or, with respect to natural gas, to wellhead production excluding flared gas.
 
“natural gas for sale”
Marketable production of gas on an “as sold” basis, excluding flared gas, injected gas and gas consumed in operations.
 
“undeveloped reserves”
Under the SEC reserves rules, undeveloped reserves are reserves of any category that are expected to be recovered from new wells on undrilled acreage, or from existing wells where a relatively major expenditure is required for recompletion.
 
  (i) Reserves on undrilled acreage shall be limited to those directly offsetting development spacing areas that are reasonably certain of production when drilled, unless evidence using reliable technology exists that establishes reasonable certainty of economic producibility at greater distances.
 
  (ii) Undrilled locations can be classified as having undeveloped reserves only if a development plan has been adopted indicating that they are scheduled to be drilled within five years, unless the specific circumstances, justify a longer time.
 
3

  (iii) Under no circumstances shall estimates for undeveloped reserves be attributable to any acreage for which an application of fluid injection or other improved recovery technique is contemplated, unless such techniques have been proved effective by actual projects in the same reservoir or an analogous reservoir, or by other evidence using reliable technology establishing reasonable certainty.
References to:
 
   
BOE is to
barrels-of-oil
equivalent,
 
   
Mcf is to thousand cubic feet, and
 
   
Bcf is to billion cubic feet.
 
4

FORWARD-LOOKING
STATEMENTS
This annual report contains
“forward-looking
statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These
forward-looking
statements are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties. These
forward-looking
statements include, without limitation, statements relating to:
 
   
the amounts and nature of future exploration, development and other capital expenditures;
 
   
future prices and demand for crude oil, natural gas, refined products and chemical products;
 
   
development projects;
 
   
exploration prospects;
 
   
reserves potential;
 
   
production of oil and gas and refined and chemical products;
 
   
development and drilling potential;
 
   
expansion and other development trends of the oil and gas industry;
 
   
the planned development of our natural gas operations;
 
   
the planned expansion of our refined product marketing network;
 
   
the planned expansion of our natural gas infrastructure;
 
   
the prospects of our new energy business;
 
   
the anticipated benefit from our ongoing arrangements with PipeChina;
 
   
the anticipated benefit from the acquisition of certain overseas assets from CNPC, our parent company;
 
   
the plan to continue to pursue attractive business opportunities outside China;
 
   
our future overall business development and economic performance;
 
   
our anticipated financial and operating information regarding, and the future development and economic performance of, our business;
 
   
our anticipated market risk exposure arising from future changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates and commodity prices; and
 
   
other prospects of our business and operations.
The words “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “seek”, “will” and “would” and similar expressions, as they related to us, are intended to identify a number of these
forward-looking
statements.
By their nature,
forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future and are beyond our control. The
forward-looking
statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from information contained in the
forward-looking
statements as a result of a number of factors, including, without limitation, the risk factors set forth in this annual report and the following:
 
   
fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas prices;
 
   
effects of the
COVID-19
pandemic;
 
   
failure to achieve continued exploration success;
 
   
failures or delays in achieving production from development projects;
 
5

   
continued availability of capital and financing;
 
   
acquisitions and other business opportunities that we may pursue;
 
   
general economic, market and business conditions, including volatility in interest rates, changes in foreign exchange rates and volatility in commodity markets;
 
   
liability for remedial actions under environmental regulations;
 
   
the actions of competitors;
 
   
wars and acts of terrorism or sabotage;
 
   
changes in policies, laws or regulations of the PRC, including changes in applicable tax rates;
 
   
the other changes in global economic and political conditions, including those affecting the production, supply and demand and pricing of crude oil, refined products, petrochemical products and natural gas; and
 
   
the other risk factors discussed in this annual report, and other factors beyond our control.
You should not place undue reliance on any
forward-looking
statements.
 
6

PART I
Item 1
— IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORS
Not applicable. See “Item 6 — Directors, Senior Management and Employees — Directors, Senior Management and Supervisors” and “Item 16C — Principal Accountant Fees and Services”.
Item 2
— OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
Not applicable.
Item 3
— KEY INFORMATION
Risk Factors
Our business is subject to various changing competitive, economic, social, political and regulatory and other related conditions. Such changing conditions entail certain risks, which are described below.
Risks Related to Government Regulation
Our operations in China currently contribute the large majority of our revenue. Accordingly, we are extensively affected and regulated by the economic and industrial policies, laws and regulations adopted in China. This may in turn adversely affect our financial condition, operation results, liquidity, and the value of our ADSs. These effects are reflected mainly in the following respects:
(1)
In terms of general economic policies
: The Chinese government regulates China’s economic development by setting general economic policies such as monetary and financial policy, fiscal and tax policy and foreign exchange policy. The application of any policy to us may affect our business decisions, production plans and strategy executions, which in turn may have an impact on our financial condition, operating results and value of our ADSs.
(2)
In terms of industrial policies, laws and regulations
: The sector in which we operate is subject to extensive regulation and regulatory control by the Chinese government. The regulation and regulatory control relate to many material aspects of our operations. As a result, we may face constraints and restrictions on our ability to implement our business strategies, to develop or expand our business operations or to maximize our profitability. For example:
 
   
Energy transition policy
: In order to address climate change concerns, the Chinese government has set the goal to hit carbon peak by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. To achieve that goal, China has introduced and is expected to introduce a series of economic policies and supporting laws and regulations. These regulations would pose severe challenges to traditional oil extraction and refining operations, and drive us to adjust our operational strategies and initiate steps to expand into new energy business while continuing to develop our traditional business with high quality. If our efforts to address climate change fail to produce satisfactory results, the overall operations, liquidity, profitability and the value of the ADSs of our company may suffer an adverse effect.
 
   
Product pricing mechanism
: In China, the pricing of gasoline, diesel and natural gas products is subject to government regulation and we cannot freely set prices for these products. We are required to price these products in compliance with the Chinese government’s pricing mechanism. As a major supplier of essential energy sources in China, we are not permitted to cease supply to the market even if market prices are not favorable and we cannot exceed the pricing limit set by the government.
 
7

   
Crude oil special gain levy
: China collects a crude oil special gain levy on all oil production companies that sell crude oil produced from China. At present, we are required to pay the crude oil special gain levy for the excessive revenue received by us from the sale of domestically produced crude oil above US$65 per barrel.
 
   
Mineral rights granting system
: We are subject to various requirements under the
Mineral Resources Law of the PRC
and supporting laws and regulations, including those requirements relating to exploration licenses, production licenses, mineral rights fees, and minimum investment into mining blocks.
 
   
Ecological and environmental protection and safety production
: We are subject to a series of ecological and environmental protection and safety production laws and standards, which have become increasingly stringent over recent years in China with respect to the oil and gas industries.
 
   
Project approvals
: In China, the construction of significant refining and petrochemical facilities is subject to governmental approval. We presently have several significant projects pending approval from the relevant government authorities and will need approvals from the relevant government authorities in connection with several other significant projects. We do not have control over the timing and outcome of the final project approvals.
 
   
Oil and gas production targets
: The National Energy Administration of the PRC publishes certain guiding targets for annual production of domestic energy companies. For example, for 2022, the National Energy Administration announced that its target is to procure China’s annual production of domestic crude oil to increase to about 200 million tons, annual production of domestic natural gas to increase to about 214 billion cubic meters, and the share of
non-fossil
energy in China’s domestic energy consumption to increase to about 17.3%. Although failure to achieve these targets will not subject us or other relevant companies to fines, these targets themselves would have an effect on our business decisions, hence, driving our management to make plans to work towards achievement of the
pre-set
targets.
(3)
In terms of generally applicable business laws and regulations
: We are subject to generally applicable business laws and regulations, including, without limitation, corporate governance, securities regulation, employee benefits, information protection, anti-monopoly and anti-money-laundering laws and regulations. We are required to continue to invest substantial management resources to ensure compliance with all these laws and regulations. Any noncompliance with any of these laws or regulations will subject our company to penalties and reputational risks, and in turn harm the interests of our investors (including investors of our ADSs). For example:
 
   
Anti-monopoly
: We are subject to anti-monopoly laws and regulations. We are prohibited from entering into or implementing anti-competitive agreements or abusing our market position, or conducting any concentration of business operators which has or may have the effect of excluding or limiting competition. Occupying a leading position in the oil and gas industry, we are more susceptible to anti-monopoly compliance risks. See the “Risks Related to Anti-Monopoly Initiatives” for a more detailed discussion of this risk.
 
   
Corporate governance and securities regulatory compliance
: Our securities are currently traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE. Accordingly, we are subject to all the applicable requirements under the listing rules, disclosure rules, securities laws as well as corporate governance and compliance rules adopted by all three markets. As a result, we are required to continue to invest substantial management resources to ensure compliance with all these requirements.
(4)
In terms of regulation and supervision of state-owned assets
: We are a company with controlling shares ultimately owned by the state. Our controlling shareholder CNPC is a state-owned enterprise. Although the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (“SASAC”) does not exert influence directly on us, it is positioned to make decisions on significant matters of CNPC in its capacity as
 
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shareholder and CNPC can in turn resolve on significant matters of our company in its capacity as shareholder (see the provisions regarding shareholders’ rights and obligations in our Articles of Association). As a consolidated subsidiary of CNPC, we are subject to certain regulations in relation to state-owned assets. For example, we are subject to the audits by the National Audit Office of the PRC relating to our business, finance and staff. For material merger and acquisition transactions, we are required to retain external asset appraisal firms to evaluate the target assets. All these would increase our compliance burden. Please see “Item 7 — Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions — Related Party Transactions” and “Item 3 — Key Information — Risk Factors — Risks Related to Controlling Shareholder” for a detailed description of our transactions and relationships with our controlling shareholder.
(5)
Impact of rapid evolution of PRC laws and regulations
: PRC laws, regulations and legal requirements dealing with economic matters have experienced rapid development during the decades after China’s adoption of the reform and
opening-up
policy, especially during the most recent two decades. Some laws having a material effect on our company may be put into force or implementation without any transitional period or only after a very short transitional period, which have required us to quickly adjust our operation and compliance strategies in order to comply with the new rules.
See also “Item 4 — Information on the Company — Regulatory Matters” and the other relevant risk factors disclosed in this section, including without limitation, “Risks Related to Marco Economic Conditions”, “Risks Related to Competition”, “Risks Related to Financial Reporting Differences”, “Risks Related to Pricing and Exchange Rate”, “Risks Related to Environmental Protection and Safety Production”, and “Risks Related to Climate Change”, “Risks Related to Audit Reports Prepared by an Auditor Who Is Not Inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board”, “Risks Related to China’s Anti-Monopoly Initiatives”, and “Risks Related to Liquidity and Value of ADSs.”
Risks Related to Economic Sanctions and Trade Controls
CNPC, our controlling shareholder, has for a long time engaged in international oil and gas operations. Some of these operations are located in countries sanctioned by the U.S. government, the European Union or other governments or international organizations. Some operations involve certain entities, which are subject to sanctions. Certain of our business operations has direct or indirect ties with certain sanctioned entities in Russia or Venezuela. In addition, in recent years, many Chinese companies and individuals have become subject to various sanctions.
Sanctions and trade controls may pose the following risks to us:
 
   
Divestment
: Some investors (including U.S. investors) are prohibited from investing or may not wish to invest and have proposed or adopted divestment or similar initiatives regarding investments in companies that do business in countries or have trade or investment ties with entities that are subject to sanctions. These investors may also divest their investment in us because of our and/or CNPC’s (including its subsidiaries) investments and operations in certain sanctioned countries and our and/or CNPC’s (including its subsidiaries) trade and investment ties with certain sanctioned companies. As a result, the trading price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.
 
   
Trade disruptions and wind-down of operations
: Since certain U.S. sanctions programs have extraterritorial effect or effect on
non-US
persons, such as certain secondary sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the US Department of the Treasury, and certain trade controls administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Commerce Department, especially under the “foreign direct product rules”, in certain circumstances, we and certain of our business partners may need to exercise business judgment to wind down certain existing projects or abandon or change some business plans. As a result, we may suffer adverse consequences, such as supply disruptions, increased costs of raw materials, impairment of assets or loss of profit-making opportunities.
 
9

   
Risks of being sanctioned or implicated in sanctions
: We have always endeavored to prevent our direct or indirect ties with any sanctioned target from violating the sanctions rules of the U.S. or any other countries or organizations. However, we cannot assure you that any future sanctions will not target or implicate CNPC or even our company.
 
   
Reputation risks
: Although most of the sanctions programs do not prohibit us or our parent company (as Chinese companies) from carrying on existing operations in sanctioned countries, or from maintaining direct or indirect ties with any sanctioned entity, to maintain such operations may have an adverse impact on our reputation.
 
   
Compliance risks
: Due to the high sensitivity and complexity of sanctions issues and capriciousness of sanctions programs, we are required to invest substantial resources in compliance management. Any
non-compliance
of sanctions may subject us to penalties.
Set forth below, please see our disclosure on a
country-by-country
basis of CNPC’s and our operations in certain sanctioned countries and business ties with certain sanctioned entities.
About Iran
In 2018, the United States government withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) and reimposed certain sanctions against Iran, which were conditionally lifted in 2015 following entry into the JCPOA. These reimposed sanctions have implications for
non-U.S.
companies, including requiring foreign companies to cease participation in projects in certain sectors of Iran (including the energy sector), and prohibiting or restricting oil imports from Iran, except for eight countries and regions (including China) which were granted a Significant Reduction Exception (“SRE”) to be able to continue to import limited oil until May 2019. Pursuant to section 13(r) to the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, reporting issuers are required to disclose whether they or any of their affiliates have knowingly engaged in certain activities, transactions, or dealings related to Iran during the reporting period, including activities not prohibited by U.S. or other law. Based on CNPC’s response to our inquiries, a subsidiary of CNPC (the “CNPC Sub”) held interests in certain oil and gas development projects in Iran, namely, (i) the MIS oilfields in which the CNPC Sub obtained a 100% interest in 2010, and (ii) the North Azadegan oilfield, in which the CNPC Sub obtained a 100% interest in 2009. From the
re-imposition
of U.S. sanctions, the CNPC Sub has been providing minimal support and services to the two oilfields. Since May 2019 when the SRE expired, the two oilfields have suspended lifting oil for recovery and did not generate any revenue for the CNPC Sub.
In July 2012, OFAC added Bank of Kunlun Co., Ltd., or Kunlun Bank, an affiliate of our company due to common control by CNPC, to its “List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561”, which was replaced by the list of Correspondent Account of Payable-Through Account Sanctions, pursuant to the
Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010
. According to OFAC, Kunlun Bank allegedly provided financial services to at least six Iranian banks that were on OFAC’s sanctions list during 2012. These financial services included holding accounts, making transfers and paying letters of credit on behalf of the designated banks. Since 2018, Kunlun Bank’s settlement business involving Iran has been limited to settlement of humanitarian materials and other business activities that are not subject to sanctions. We have no involvement in or control over such activities of Kunlun Bank or CNPC and CNPC subsidiaries and affiliates, and we have never received any revenue or profit derived from these activities.
About Russia
Since July 2014, the United States government has adopted economic sanctions against certain Russian persons and entities, including various entities operating in the financial, energy and defense sectors, such as Rosneft, Gazprom, Transneft, and OAO Novatek as well as those companies in which the foregoing companies independently or jointly hold a 50% or more interest. These sanctions prohibit U.S. persons from transacting in,
 
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providing financing for or otherwise dealing in debt issuance by certain of these entities, or exporting, transferring, or providing certain technologies, equipment or services to certain
oil-development
projects in Russia.
Since February 2022, the U.S. government has expanded the sanctions against Russia. These sanctions include designating a large number of Russian top officials, corporations, financial institutions and certain other persons as sanctioned targets, prohibiting importation of Russian oil and gas and other energy products, and prohibiting or restricting U.S. persons from conducting investment, trade, financing, settlement or other transactions with the sanctioned entities. In conjunction with such measures by the U.S. government, certain other countries have also announced different levels of sanctions against Russia. In addition to governments, certain companies and organizations have announced their plans to exit from operations involving Russia.
Pursuant to certain
pre-existing
agreements or arrangements, CNPC has for a long time imported crude oil and natural gas from Russia and held investment interests in certain projects in Russia. Our company also has direct or indirect business ties with certain sanctioned Russian entities. Both CNPC and our company have been continuously assessing the risks related to operations involving Russia. We cannot assure you that the U.S. or any other government will not impose any restrictions on those operations, or that our business partners will not terminate the business relationship with us due to their negative impression of our company or otherwise as a result of such situation. These operations include the following:
 
   
CNPC indirectly holds 20% equity interest in OAO Yamal LNG and 10% equity interest in Arctic LNG 2, both of which are more than 50% owned by OAO Novatek.
 
   
CNPC has long-term agreements with Rosneft, Transneft, Gazprom and Arctic LNG 2, all of which are subject to OFAC-administered sanctions, to import crude oil, natural gas or LNG from Russia. CNPC has resold, and will for the foreseeable future resell, all or a substantial portion of the imported crude oil under the crude oil agreements to us.
 
   
Our company has for a long time imported natural gas from Gazprom, and LNG from a subsidiary of OAO Yamal LNG.
In 2021, the share of revenue derived from Russia-related operations in our total revenue was 4.5%.
About Venezuela
In August 2017, the United States imposed economic sanctions against the Government of Venezuela and certain state-owned entities, including Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PdVSA”). These sanctions prohibit U.S. persons from transacting in, providing financing for or otherwise dealing in “new debt” issued by these entities on or after August 25, 2017, with certain exceptions for short-term debt. Neither CNPC nor PetroChina purchased such new debt securities issued by the Government of Venezuela or by PdVSA, nor did they provide any assistance to third parties in this regard. In 2019, the United States issued enhanced sanction measures against Venezuela, which included blocking the property of Venezuelan government and its controlled entities (including PdVSA), and introducing new restrictions on Venezuela’s oil sector. Under these programs, persons determined to be operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy, or to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person included on the list of SDNs and Blocked Persons, may also be subject to risk of being designated for sanctions. CNPC had long-standing trading and investment activities in Venezuela, but it has ceased oil product trading activities and oilfield services in Venezuela. In 2008, CNPC Exploration and Development Company Limited (“CNPC E&D”), a joint venture held as to 50% by us and 50% by CNPC, established a joint venture with PdVSA (the “JV”) to operate the Sinovensa block located in Carabobo, Monagas State, Venezuela, which block produces and sells heavy oil. CNPC E&D holds a 40% interest in the JV and PdVSA holds the remaining 60%. In the past two years, CNPC E&D contributed no new investment in the JV. We also indirectly hold minority interests in a few other small projects in Venezuela. For the year ended December 31, 2021, the share of
 
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net profit from the Sinovensa block and the other projects in aggregate accounted for approximately 0.6% of our net profit attributable to owners of the company.
About Other Countries and Regions
As a major supplier of essential energy sources in China, we may in the ordinary course of our business, develop ties with certain Chinese entities or individuals who are currently or in the future will be subject to various sanctions. We also have certain oil and gas assets in China’s Xinjiang region (as discussed in further detail in other sections of this annual report). There are currently no sanctions programs subjecting our business operations to material restrictions. In performing daily compliance work, on the one hand, we take great care to identify and assess risks related to having business dealings with sanctioned targets, and on the other hand, we strive to comply with PRC anti-sanctions and anti-boycott laws and regulations. When faced with the situation where foreign sanctions conflict with China’s anti-sanctions and anti-boycott rules, we may be obligated to comply with China’s rules. Hence, we may be unable to completely prevent all sanctions compliance risks.
Our controlling shareholder, CNPC, may have some operations in certain other countries and regions sanctioned by the U.S. to different extents. Our company has no involvement in or control over such activities of CNPC and CNPC’s subsidiaries and affiliates, and we have never received any revenue or profit derived from these activities. None of such activities result in us violating any U.S. or any other international sanctions.
Risks Related to Liquidity and Value of ADSs
In addition to the factors that have been included in this “Risk Factor” section and elsewhere of this annual report that have a potential impact on the liquidity and value of our ADSs, we foresee certain risks relating to the liquidity and value of our ADSs arising from potential changes in the legal environment and regulatory requirements in the countries we operate and where our securities are listed, including but not limited to, in the following respects:
Firstly, if in the future any restrictions are imposed, or any negative comments or warnings are made, by any government or governmental authorities on the flow of capital into China or China-based companies, or any escalation of geopolitical tensions or any news or rumors thereof, or if investment restrictions are imposed on us or we are threatened with investment restrictions, it may make potential investors shun away from our securities (including our ADSs) and/or certain of our existing investors (including ADS investors) may divest from us. As a result, the liquidity and value of our securities (including our ADSs) may be materially and adversely affected.
Secondly, if in the future, the Chinese government introduces new rules relating to “information security”, “data security” and/or “national security” with respect to overseas offerings and listings by China-based issuers and/or with respect to China-based issuers that are already listed, which results in our company being covered to any extent by any such new rules, we cannot rule out the risk that it may have an impact on the liquidity and value of our securities (including our ADSs). For example, in December 2021, the Chinese government published the
Provisions on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing of Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments)
(the “Draft Overseas Listing Provisions”). The Draft Overseas Listing Provisions provides that if any domestic company proposes to conduct an overseas securities offering and listing, and (i) where it involves China’s foreign investment, cybersecurity, or data security rules, the company is obligated to take action to protect national security; (ii) where it involves security review rules, the company must go through the review process in accordance with applicable laws; and (iii) the competent department under the State Council may require the company to divest relevant businesses and/or assets to eliminate the impacts on national security, and if the filing of a proposed overseas offering and listing has been cleared, the filing may be rescinded. CSRC stated at the release of the Draft Overseas Listing Provisions that the rules after becoming effective will apply to initial offerings and listings,
follow-on
offerings and refinancing, while the application of these rules to other overseas listed companies will be arranged at a later stage, thus providing a sufficient transitional period to those other overseas listed companies. We understand that these draft rules will implicate
 
12

the applicable laws and regulations in relation to national security review, and (i) if the rules are enacted in the end, (ii) if our company is determined to be an operator of critical information infrastructure in the energy sector, (iii) if the companies in the energy sector are required to undertake the national security review in relation to their overseas listing, and (iv) if after its review according to the relevant laws and regulations, the competent PRC regulator determines that for the sake of protecting relevant data from disclosure, companies operating in the sector in which we operate are no longer suitable for being listed overseas, then the PRC government may prohibit or restrict overseas listing of domestic companies operating in our sector (such as our company). In that case,
 
   
we may be delisted from the U.S., whether voluntarily or by mandatory requirements, and investors of our ADSs will then have to sell their ADSs or convert the ADSs into our H Shares;
 
   
the market price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected by the risk aversion and other negative market sentiment, regardless of our actual operating conditions;
 
   
if any investor of our ADSs does not convert the ADSs held by him/her into our H Shares for any reason, those ADSs may eventually lose all market value due to the loss of liquidity on the NYSE;
 
   
affected by the decline in the market value of ADSs, the prices of our H Shares, the underlying securities of ADSs, may drop significantly;
 
   
the conversion of ADSs into H Shares will incur some costs and cause some inconvenience; and
 
   
if in the future we propose to conduct a
follow-on
offering overseas, the proposed offering may be hindered by the occurrence of any one or more of the foregoing events.
See also other risks disclosed in this “Risk Factors” section, such as “Risks Related to Audit Reports Prepared by an Auditor Who Is Not Inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board”, “Risks Related to Government Regulation”, “Risks Related to Outbound Investments and Trading”, “Risks Related to Sanctions and Trade Controls”, “Risks Related to Macro Economic Conditions” and “Risks Related to Pricing and Exchange Rate.”
Risks Related to Macro Economic Conditions
Our operations may be adversely affected by international and domestic economic conditions. As the oil and gas industry is sensitive to
macro-economic
trends, oil and gas prices tend to fluctuate along with changes in
macro-economic
conditions. We may experience pricing pressure on our refined products in recessionary periods, which would have an adverse effect on our profitability
.
Changes in macro-economic conditions can affect the demand for certain of our products. These factors may also lead to intensified competition for market share, with consequential potential adverse effects on sales volumes. Inflation may lead to increase in our operating costs. Notwithstanding the measures taken by the PRC government to control inflation, China may experience an increase in inflation in the future and our operating costs may become higher than anticipated. The financial, economic or political situation may also have a negative impact on third parties with whom we do business, and may impact their ability to perform contractual obligations to us. In addition, other factors that affect the macro economy, such as declining population growth rates, geopolitical tensions, conflicts and wars, trade and tariff policies, and major public health events, such as the
COVID-19
pandemic, may have an adverse impact on oil and gas and petrochemical industries, including us. Any of these factors may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.
Risks Related to Competition
The oil, gas and petrochemicals industries are highly competitive. There is strong competition, both within the oil and gas industry and with other industries, in supplying the fuel needs of commercial, industrial and residential markets. In recent years, with the intensive reform of China’s petroleum, refining and chemical, natural gas, LNG and refined oils sales industries, we have been facing increasingly intense competition in the
 
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exploration, refinery, chemical, sales, and oil and gas service sectors from privately-owned companies, foreign-invested enterprises and other state-owned enterprises that recently entered the oil and gas industries. Alternative energy sources and new products also pose strong competition against the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. In particular, the booming of the new energy vehicle industry confronts the oil industry with tough challenges. In October 2020, the State Council issued the New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (for 2021-2035), according to which, China expects that the share of new energy vehicles out of total vehicle sales in China to rise to 20% by 2025 and pure electric vehicles to account for the majority of vehicle sales by 2035. We expect to see continued rapid development of the new energy vehicle industry, which will adversely affect the consumption of refined oil products. Competition puts pressure on product prices, affects oil products marketing and requires continuous management focus on identifying new trends, reducing unit costs and improving efficiency. The implementation of our growth strategy requires continued technological advances and innovation, including advances in exploration & production, and refining & chemicals manufacturing technology and advances in technology related to energy usage. Our performance could be impeded if competitors developed or acquired intellectual property rights to technology that we required or if our innovation lagged the industry.
The Eastern and Southern regions of China have a higher demand for refined products and chemical products than the Western and Northern regions. Although we have strived to increase our refinery capacity in the Southern regions of China over recent years, most of our refineries and chemical plants are located in the Northeastern and Northwestern regions of China. We incur relatively higher transportation costs for delivery of our refined products and chemical products to certain areas of the Eastern and Southern regions from our refineries and chemical plants in Western and Northern China. We face strong competition from other traditional domestic oil companies, local independent refineries and other competitors. As a result, we expect that we will continue to encounter difficulty in increasing our sales of refined products and chemical products in these regions.
Risks Related to Outbound Investments and Trading
We are subject to various political, legal and regulatory environments in foreign countries in which we have investments or with which we conduct trading transactions. The legal and regulatory regimes of some of those countries may not be as developed or sophisticated and may differ in many significant respects from those prevailing in developed countries. Expansion into new international markets requires significant resources, management attention and increased legal compliance costs and subjects us to regulatory, economic, tax and political risks. We are also subject to general risks inherent in international operations, such as fluctuations in exchange rates, changes in trade policies, tariff regulations, embargoes and customs clearances, or other trade restrictions, as well political or social unrest or economic instability in regions in which we operate.
As we continue to expand our business and geographic footprint, including in countries with regulatory and compliance regimes with which we are unfamiliar, we will need to adapt and implement compliance and operational protocols to ensure compliance in each such market. The laws and regulations of various countries in which we currently operate or may operate in the future are evolving. Consequently, such laws and regulations may change and sometimes may conflict with each other, making it more difficult for us to be compliant and sometimes may be at odds such that we must make a strategic decision to abandon or scale back operations in some markets. At any time, authorities in the countries where we currently operate may require us to obtain additional, or extend existing, licenses, permits or approvals. However, there is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain these in a timely and cost-effective manner. Authorities may revoke existing licenses, and we may not be able to appeal any such revocations in a timely and/or effective manner, or at all.
Risks Related to Controlling Shareholder
We are a company with controlling shares ultimately owned by the state. CNPC, which is controlled by SASAC, is our controlling shareholder. SASAC’s control over CNPC and CNPC’s control over us are mainly shareholding relationships. SASAC holds the equity interests in state-owned enterprises (such as CNPC) on
 
14

behalf of the Chinese government. As a result, in the corporate governance structure SASAC is a shareholder and accordingly has to comply with the shareholder’s rights and obligations under the PRC Company Law. Likewise, CNPC’s control over us is also subject to the shareholder’s rights and obligations under the PRC Company Law. Although SASAC does not exert direct influence over us, it can make decisions on significant matters relating to CNPC in its capacity as CNPC’s shareholder and CNPC can in turn resolve on significant matters of our company in its capacity as our shareholder (see the provisions in relation to shareholders’ rights and obligations in our Articles of Association). As a consolidated subsidiary of CNPC, we are subject to certain regulations in relation to state-owned assets. For example, we are subject to the audits by the National Audit Office of the PRC on the compliance of our business, finance and staff. For material merger and acquisition transactions, we are required to retain external asset appraisal firms to evaluate the target assets.
As of December 31, 2021, CNPC beneficially owned approximately 80.41% of our share capital. As a result, CNPC can vote on significant matters relating to our company by exercising its rights as our controlling shareholder, as set forth in detail in our Articles of Association. Accordingly, CNPC is in a position to:
 
   
direct our policies, management and other various affairs;
 
   
subject to applicable PRC laws and regulations and provisions of our Articles of Association, affect the timing and amount of dividend payments and adopt amendments to certain of the provisions of our Articles of Association; and
 
   
otherwise determine the outcome of most corporate actions and, subject to the regulatory requirements of the jurisdictions in which our shares are listed, cause our company to effect corporate transactions without the approval of minority shareholders.
CNPC’s interests may occasionally conflict with those of some or all of our minority shareholders. We cannot assure you that CNPC, as our controlling shareholder, will always vote its shares in a way that benefits our minority shareholders.
In addition to its relationship with us as our controlling shareholder, CNPC by itself or through its affiliates also provides us with certain services and products necessary for our business activities, such as construction and technical services, production services, materials supply services, social services and financial services. The interests of CNPC and its affiliates as providers of these services and products to us may conflict with our interests.
Risks Related to Pricing and Exchange Rate
Our operations are affected by the volatility of prices for crude oil, refined products and natural gas. We set our crude oil median prices monthly based on the international trading prices for crude oil.
In recent years, international prices for crude oil have fluctuated substantially in response to changes in global and regional economy, politics and supply and demand for crude oil. We do not have, and will not have, control over factors affecting international prices for crude oil. For example, in 2020, due to the outbreak of
COVID-19
pandemic and some other reasons, there was a rarely seen drastic drop in oil prices with an unprecedented negative oil price, while in 2022, due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and other reasons, crude oil prices rose significantly. Fluctuations and volatility in crude oil prices have a significant impact on our results of operations. The decline in international crude oil prices would have a material adverse effect on our upstream business profits, and also have an impact on our downstream business profits through China’s pricing mechanism of refined oil products, thereby adversely affecting our overall sales revenue and profits. Further, if crude oil prices remain at a low level for a prolonged period, we would be required to determine and estimate whether our oil and gas assets may suffer impairment and, if so, the amount of the impairment. An increase in crude oil prices may, however, increase the production costs of refined products, reduce demand for our products and affect our operating profits.
 
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Under the current refined oil pricing mechanism implemented by the PRC government, when there is a change in the average crude oil price in the international market during a given time period, the PRC government can adjust refined oil prices. When international crude oil price experiences significant increases or volatility, the PRC government may strengthen its control over the refined oil prices. As a result, the regulation on refined product prices by the PRC government may reduce our profit and cause our refining assets to suffer impairment.
We negotiate the actual settlement price with natural gas users within the price range permitted by the PRC government. When the domestic price is lower than the international natural gas price, the cost of our imported natural gas will be higher than the sales price of our natural gas, which may reduce our revenues and profit, or result in losses, cause our natural gas assets to suffer impairment.
Currently, the Renminbi is not a freely convertible currency. Exchange and remittance of foreign currencies in China are subject to the supervision of the PRC government’s foreign exchange administrative agencies, such as through filings and/or approval requirements. We maintain a portion of cash and cash equivalents in foreign currencies in the course of our international business, while we receive most of our revenues in Renminbi. We convert foreign currencies from time to time to meet our foreign currency obligations, including repayment of foreign
currency-denominated
debt, payment of overseas capital expenditures and equity investment, import of oil, gas, equipment and materials, and payment of dividends declared with respect to the H Shares and ADSs. The requirements of the PRC government such as filings and approvals with respect to foreign exchange transactions may impose restrictions on our international business.
The value of Renminbi against U.S. dollar and other currencies may fluctuate and is affected by, among other things, changes in China’s political and economic conditions. The PRC government has implemented a floating exchange rate system to allow the value of the Renminbi to fluctuate within a regulated band based on market supply and demand and by reference to a basket of foreign currencies. Because a substantial part of our imports and our outbound investments are settled in foreign currencies, the exchange rates between RMB and U.S. dollars and any other relevant foreign currencies may have an effect on our purchase costs and our investment costs.
Risks Related to Climate Change
In recent years, the oil industry has faced increasingly severe challenges posed by global climate change. Numerous international, domestic and regional treaties and agreements which restrict carbon emissions have been executed and become effective. China and some other countries in which we operate have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulations to reduce carbon emissions. These include the adoption of carbon emissions “cap and trade” regimes, carbon taxes, more stringent efficiency standards, and incentives or mandates for clean energy. The Chinese government has announced that China strives to hit carbon peak by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. These policies and measures will bring opportunities to our new energy business, but may lead to changes to our oil extraction and refining businesses. We will continue to enhance our oil and gas exploration and development while seek to explore and use new energy sources, aiming to achieve an integrated development of fossil energy and clean energy. Our proposed initiatives to pursue this strategy will include: to put more efforts into the development and exploitation of geothermal energy, solar energy, wind energy, hydrogen energy and other new energy; to promote the substitution of energy used for our operation with clean energy; to promote the development of
gas-to-power
business; to increase investments in R&D of new energies; to enhance carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) measures; and to improve the overall refinery yield of crude oil. We will endeavor to hit carbon peak by around 2025, achieve an equal share among new energy, oil and gas in our total production capacity (i.e., each accounting for
one-third)
by around 2035, and achieve near-zero emissions by around 2050. In the course of striving to achieve this goal, we expect to encounter the following major risks:
 
   
In terms of market position
: As a result of the acceleration of energy transition in China, clean energy players are expected to be offered more development opportunities and become increasingly
 
16

 
competitive. On the contrary, the share of fossil fuels in primary energy consumption is expected to decrease. The Chinese government plans to increase the share of
non-fossil
fuels in primary energy consumption from 15% in 2019 to around 25% by 2030. This would have an effect on our position in the refined oil market and the development strategies for the new energy market that we are currently implementing.
 
   
In terms of liquidity
: In order to achieve a success in relation to energy transition initiatives, we expect to spend more on developing and obtaining new technologies and investing in and implementing our business expansion strategy. This will require our company to maintain an appropriate level of liquidity sufficient to support our transition strategies.
 
   
In terms of compliance
: the Chinese government is expected to introduce more stringent policies and standards relating to climate change (mainly relating to energy conservation and carbon emission reduction), which could increase our compliance cost. Any noncompliance may subject us to government investigation or penalties.
 
   
In terms of legal proceedings
: as advised by our PRC legal counsel, at present, under existing PRC laws, the legal basis for initiating any environment-related litigation mainly relates to the laws governing natural resources, environmental or ecological protection. Whether such legal basis is directly applicable to climate change-related litigation remains subject to clarification by further legislation or judicial interpretation. There have only been a few cases in China that are directly or indirectly related to climate change and they are not typical enough to be referred to as precedents. As a result, the potential impact of climate change-related litigation in China on us is not estimable at this stage. Despite that, we have noticed that the Chinese government is working on building a comprehensive legal regime with respect to climate change, and hence we cannot rule out the risk of potential legal proceedings involving oil and gas companies or petrochemical companies in the future.
 
   
In terms of reputation
: A low carbon profile has become an important indication of the influence of energy companies and a major concern for stakeholders. If we fail to meet our
low-carbon
development goals, our reputation may be affected adversely.
 
   
In terms of physical impact
: Natural disasters such as typhoons, rainstorms, floods, and landslides caused by climate change may directly damage our assets and business operations, and the resulting tentative disruption to the supply chain will indirectly affect our operations. As we are an integrated oil and gas operator, with operations extending from upstream to downstream, any tentative supply chain disruption will primarily impact the supply among different segments within our company, and to a lesser extent, the supply to external customers and suppliers. The aforementioned natural disasters may result in, among others, flooding of oil and gas wells, limitations on our ability to operate certain facilities, pipelines exposure, road disruptions and shipping suspensions, any of which can reduce the production of our oil and gas fields, the workload of our refineries and/or the sales volumes of our sales enterprises, and also adversely affect our external suppliers and customers. In extreme scenarios, it may cause tentative disruption of delivery and supply at various parts of the supply chains and adversely affect us and our external suppliers and customers.
See also “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Environmental Protection and Safety Production”.
Risks Related to Environmental Protection and Safety Production
Compliance with changes in laws, regulations and obligations relating to environmental protection and safety production could result in substantial expenditures and reduced profitability from increases in operating costs. In recent years, the PRC government has implemented environmental protection and safety production laws and regulations and has gradually improved refined oil standards which have stricter requirements for our business, and led to an increase in our operating costs. In the future, the PRC government will implement more stringent environmental protection and safety production regulations and impose higher standards on refined oil products. Compliance with these new regulations and standards will increase our costs and expenses.
 
17

Our oil and gas exploration and production activities shall comply with relevant PRC environmental protection laws and regulations governing abandonment and disposal processes for oil and gas exploration and production activities. We have established standard abandonment procedures pursuant to these laws and regulations. We have included under our asset retirement obligations the costs for these abandonment activities and this asset retirement obligation is based on our best estimate of future abandonment expenditures. In addition, PRC national or local governments may enact stricter environmental protection regulations and our abandonment costs may increase as a result.
Exploring for, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas and producing and transporting refined products and chemical products involve many hazards. These hazards may result in fires, explosions, spills, blow-outs and other unexpected or dangerous conditions causing personal injuries or death, property damage, environmental damage and interruption of operations.
Some of our oil and natural gas fields and production facilities are surrounded by residential areas or located in areas where natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and sandstorms, tend to occur more frequently than in other areas. Any natural disaster or accident encountered by our oil or natural gas fields or production facilities would aggravate any personal injuries, deaths and property damage.
Significant operating hazards and natural disasters such as earthquake, tsunami and health epidemics such as the
COVID-19
pandemic, may cause partial interruptions to our operations, property damage, personal injuries or deaths and environmental damage that could have an adverse impact on our production and operations and financial condition.
Risks Related to Oil and Gas Reserves
The crude oil and natural gas reserves data in this annual report are only estimates. The reliability of reserves estimates depends on a number of factors, assumptions and variables, such as the quality and quantity of our technical and economic data and the prevailing oil and gas prices applicable to our production, some of which are beyond our control and may prove to be incorrect over time. Results of drilling, testing and production after the date of estimates may require substantial upward or downward revisions in our reserves data. Our actual production, revenues and expenditures with respect to our reserves may differ materially from these estimates because of these revisions.
We are actively pursuing business opportunities outside China to improve our international operations. We cannot assure you, however, that we can successfully locate sufficient, if any, alternative sources of crude oil supply due to the complexity of the international political, economic and other conditions. If we fail to obtain sufficient alternative sources of crude oil supply, our results of operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.
Risks Related to Liquidity
We have made best endeavors to ensure an appropriate level of liquidity and financing ability. However, as we are currently making our efforts to find high-quality large-scale reserves, strengthening capacity building in key areas, constructing new, expanding and upgrading some existing, refinery and petrochemical facilities and expanding the oil and gas terminal markets, we may have to make substantial capital expenditures and investments. In addition, we are endeavoring to advance energy transition and striving to achieve our
pre-set
goals (see also “Risks Related to Climate Change”). We cannot assure you that the cash generated by our operations will be sufficient to fund these development plans or that our actual future capital expenditures and investments will not significantly exceed our current planned amounts. If either of these conditions arises, we may have to seek external financing to satisfy our capital needs. Our inability to obtain sufficient funding for our development plans could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
18

Risks Related to Audit Reports Prepared by an Auditor who is not Inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
As a company with shares registered with the SEC, and traded publicly in the United States, our independent registered public accounting firm is required under the laws of the United States to be registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the PCAOB, and undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess its compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards. Under PRC laws, however, the PCAOB is currently unable to inspect a registered public accounting firm’s audit work relating to a company’s operations in China without the approval of relevant Chinese authorities. The CSRC also stated that cross-border audit supervision should be realized through regulatory cooperation between China and the United States. Our independent registered public accounting firm’s audit of our operations in China is not subject to PCAOB inspections for the time being. In 2020, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA, was signed into law. According to the HFCAA, where a covered foreign company listed in the U.S. retains an auditor who has a branch or office located in a foreign jurisdiction, and the PCAOB is unable to completely inspect or investigate the auditor for three consecutive years because of a position taken by an authority in the foreign jurisdiction, the SEC may prohibit securities of such covered foreign company from being traded on any national securities exchange or
over-the-counter
market in the U.S. and such covered foreign company is required to satisfy certain additional disclosure requirements. In December 2021, the SEC issued the rules to implement the requirements of the HFCAA. According to the rules, starting from the first half of 2022, the SEC will identify, determine and publish a list of the issuers identified by the SEC as subject to the HFCAA (a “covered issuer”); starting from 2024, SEC will impose a trading prohibition on issuers that remain covered issuers for three consecutive years. In December 2021, PCAOB issued the list of accounting firms that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely as determined by it. Both our current external auditor and our former external auditor were included in that list. It is possible that our company could be identified as a covered issuer shortly after the filing of this Form
20-F.
Further, the United States may enact other laws that may include similar rules seeking to address the PCAOB inspection issue. For example, the Senate has passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which, if enacted, would shorten the number of
“non-inspection
years” from three years to two years. Although the Chinese and U.S. regulators are currently having dialogues in order to reach a regulatory agreement, we cannot predict whether the dialogues will produce the desired results, and if any, whether they will arrive timely. Implementation of the HFCAA or other efforts to increase U.S. regulatory access to audit information could expose us and the investors of our ADSs to a series of risks. For example,
 
   
the trading of our ADSs on the NYSE may be prohibited or our ADSs may be mandatorily delisted from the NYSE. If that happens, the investors of our ADSs will be forced to sell their ADSs or convert the ADSs into our H Shares;
 
   
the market price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected by the risk aversion and other negative market sentiment, regardless of our actual operating conditions;
 
   
if any investor of our ADSs does not convert the ADSs held by him/her into our H Shares for any reason, those ADSs may eventually lose all market value due to the loss of liquidity on the NYSE;
 
   
affected by the decline in the market value of ADSs, the prices of our H Shares, the underlying securities of ADSs, may drop down significantly; and
 
   
the conversion of ADSs into H Shares will incur some costs and cause some inconvenience.
The PCAOB has conducted inspections of independent registered public accounting firms outside of China and has at times identified deficiencies in the audit procedures and quality control procedures of those accounting firms. Such deficiencies may be addressed in those accounting firms’ future inspection process to improve their audit quality. Due to the inability of PCAOB to conduct regular inspections of audit work undertaken in China for the time being, PCAOB is unable to assess the compliance of our independent registered public accounting firm according to applicable U.S. laws and professional standards. This may cause the investors to lose confidence in our financial statements and reports to a certain extent.
 
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Risks Related to SEC Litigation Against the “Big Four”
PRC-based
Accounting Firms
On January 22, 2014, Judge Cameron Elliot, an SEC administrative law judge, issued an initial decision suspending the Chinese member firms of the “Big Four” accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, from, among other things, practicing before the SEC for six months. In February 2014, the initial decision was appealed. While under appeal and in February 2015, the Chinese member firms of “Big Four” accounting firms reached a settlement with the SEC. As part of the settlement, each of the Chinese member firms of “Big Four” accounting firms agreed to settlement terms that include a censure, undertakings to make a payment to the SEC, procedures and undertakings as to future requests for documents by the SEC and possible additional proceedings and remedies should those undertakings not be adhered to.
Had the settlement terms not been adhered to, the Chinese member firms of “Big Four” accounting firms could have been suspended from practicing before the SEC, which could in turn prevent the timely filing of our financial statements with the SEC. In addition, it could be difficult for us to timely identify and engage another registered public accounting firm to audit and issue an opinion on our financial statements and our internal control over financial reporting. A delinquency in our filing of the annual report with the SEC may result in the NYSE initiating delisting procedures, which could harm our reputation and have other material adverse effects on our overall growth and prospect.
Risks Related to Effectiveness of Internal Control over Financial Reporting
The SEC, as required by Section 404 of the
Sarbanes-Oxley
Act of 2002, has adopted rules requiring every public company in the United States to include a management report on such company’s internal control over financial reporting in its annual report, which contains management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, an independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Although our management concluded that our internal control over our financial reporting as of December 31, 2021 was effective, and our independent registered public accounting firm has issued an attestation report, which concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective in all material aspects as of December 31, 2021, we may discover other deficiencies in the course of our future evaluation of our internal control over our financial reporting and may be unable to remediate such deficiencies in a timely manner. If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting on an ongoing basis, in accordance with the
Sarbanes-Oxley
Act. Moreover, effective internal control is necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and is important to prevent fraud. As a result, our failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which in turn could harm our business and negatively impact the trading prices of our shares.
Risks Relating Financial Reporting Differences
As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt from certain disclosure requirements under the U.S. Exchange Act, which may afford less protection to you than you would enjoy if we were a domestic U.S. company. As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt from, among other things, the rules prescribing the furnishing and content of proxy statements under the U.S. Exchange Act and the rules relating to selective disclosure of material nonpublic information under Regulation FD under the U.S. Exchange Act. In addition, our executive officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and short-swing profit and recovery provisions contained in Section 16 of the U.S. Exchange Act. We are also not required under the U.S. Exchange Act to file periodic reports and financial statements with the SEC as frequently or as promptly as domestic U.S. companies with securities registered under the U.S. Exchange Act. For example, in addition to annual reports with audited financial statements, domestic U.S. companies are required to file with the SEC quarterly reports that include interim financial statements reviewed by an independent registered public accounting firm and certified by the companies’ principal executive and financial officers. By contrast, as a foreign private issuer, we
 
20

are not required to file such quarterly reports with the SEC or to provide quarterly certifications by our principal executive and financial officers. Although we are required by the listing rules of Shanghai Stock Exchange with respect to our A Shares to publish quarterly and semi-annual reports and also required by listing rules of Hong Kong Stock Exchange with respect to our H Shares to publish semi-annual reports, and such reports are furnished to the SEC on Form
6-K,
our financial statements included in the reports are not reviewed by our independent registered public accounting firms, and are only reviewed and signed by all our directors, president and CFO.
Risks Related to the Enforceability of Securities Law Liabilities against Our Officers and Directors
PRC laws and regulations have their foundation in written laws, and PRC laws, regulations and legal requirements dealing with economic matters continue to evolve. PRC laws and regulations are different in certain material areas such as legislation, judicial system, and enforcement from those in the United States and other common law jurisdictions. Because of the
non-binding
nature of prior court decisions in China, the enforcement of laws, regulations and legal requirements involve some degree of uncertainty. The PRC laws and regulations with respect to companies, securities and litigation are different in certain important aspects from those in the United States and other common law jurisdictions, and most of our assets are located in the PRC and most of our directors and substantially all of our executive officers reside in the PRC. As a result, it may be difficult for our shareholders (including investors of our ADSs) to enforce any judgments against our assets or the assets of our directors and officers in an event that they believe their rights have been infringed and even if they successfully bring an action against us or our directors and officers and they are successful in an action of this kind.
Furthermore, due to jurisdictional limitations, the ability of U.S. government agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, and the U.S. Department of Justice, or the DOJ, to investigate and bring enforcement actions against us may be limited. PRC laws may constrain the ability of our company and our directors and officers to cooperate with such an investigation or action. For example, according to Article 177 of the PRC Securities Law, no overseas securities regulator is allowed to directly conduct investigations or evidence collection activities within the territory of the PRC. Without the consent of the securities regulatory department of the State Council and other competent authorities under the State Council, no organization or individual may provide documents or materials relating to securities business activities to overseas parties. As a result of the foregoing, our shareholders (including investors of our ADSs) may have difficulty in protecting their interests through actions against our company, directors, officers or our majority shareholder. Shareholder protection through actions initiated by the SEC, DOJ and other U.S. government agencies may also be limited. All these may have an adverse effect on the exercise of rights by the investors of our ADSs.
Risks Related to Anti-Monopoly Initiatives
The Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC (the “Anti-Monopoly Law”) prohibits the entry into or implementation of any horizontal or vertical monopoly agreements, the taking of any action by abusing dominant market position, and any concentration of business operators that has or may have the effect of excluding or limiting competition. Penalties for violations of the Anti-Monopoly Law include, inter alia, confiscation of illegal gains and imposition of penalties as high as 10% of the sales revenue in the preceding year. We have directed our headquarter office and subsidiaries not to take any action in violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law or any of its supporting laws and regulation in their conduct of business, and have monitored company-wide anti-monopoly compliance through our internal compliance system. Despite that, we cannot assure you that our company can prevent all anti-monopoly compliance risks due to the fact that our company occupies a leading market position, the large scale of our business operations and our company has a large number of subsidiaries and branches. If in the future our company is determined to have deficiencies in the anti-monopoly compliance, or any business model adopted or particular transaction conducted by our company is determined, for example, to have abused our market position, entered into monopoly agreements, or implemented a concentration of business operators in violation of anti-monopoly requirements, we may be subject to investigations or enforcement actions by the government. In the case of such determination, in addition to being subject to a substantial fine, we may need to adjust our business model accordingly or make corresponding changes to a particular transaction structure. All of
 
21

these would have a material adverse effect on our business operations, financial condition, operating results and corporate reputation, and may reduce the value of our securities and the profits distributable to our shareholders (including investors of our ADSs).
Risks Related to Employee Misconduct
We may not be able to detect or prevent employee misconduct, including misconduct by senior management, and such misconduct may damage our reputation and could adversely affect the trading price of our ordinary shares and ADSs.
We have gradually reinforced and enhanced our internal control and corporate governance policies and procedures in order to strengthen our ability to detect and prevent employee misconduct. We cannot assure you, however, that we will be able to detect or prevent such misconduct in a timely fashion, or at all. If we fail to prevent employee misconduct, our reputation may be harmed, and the trading price of our ordinary shares and ADSs could be adversely affected.
Risks Related to
COVID-19
Since 2020, affected by the
COVID-19
pandemic, the global oil supply and demand have undergone material changes, resulting in a drastic fluctuation in oil prices, creating heavy pressure on the oil and gas industry, which in turn posed a tough challenge to our operations.
In the past two years, many countries’ governments have imposed stringent restrictions to help avoid, or slow down, the spreading of
COVID-19,
including, for example, restrictions on international and local travel, public gatherings and participation in meetings, as well as closures of universities, schools, stores and restaurants, with some countries imposing strict curfews. In China, various forms of restrictions were imposed and certain of them continue to be in place, and there can be no assurance that these restrictions will not be extended further on one or more occasions. Although certain restrictions have been lifted, they may be reinstated in response to resurgence of the
COVID-19
pandemic. These measures have led to a significant decline in demand for, and prices of, our refined oil products, and the restrictions had an adverse effect in the short to medium-term on our oil and gas business chains. Globally, these widespread restrictions in various countries across the world resulted in a decrease in demand for oil, thereby also putting pressure on global oil prices.
Going forward, the impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic on our business will depend on a range of factors which we are not able to accurately predict, including the duration, severity and demographic and geographic scope of the pandemic, including any variants or resurgence and efficacy of any vaccines, the impact of the pandemic on economic activity in China and globally, and the nature and aggressiveness of measures adopted by governments. These factors include, but are not limited to:
 
   
The deterioration of socio-economic conditions and disruptions to our operations, such as our supply chain, refining or distribution capabilities, which may result in increased costs due to the need for more complex supply chain arrangements, to expand existing facilities or to maintain inefficient facilities, or in a reduction of our sales volumes.
 
   
Reductions or volatility in demand for crude oil and refined and petrochemical products due to quarantine or other travel restrictions, economic hardship, retail closures or illness, which may impact our revenue and market share.
 
   
Significant volatility in financial markets (including exchange rate volatility) and measures adopted by governments and central banks that further restrict liquidity, which may limit our access to funds, lead to shortages of cash or increase the cost of raising funds.
 
   
An adverse impact on our ability to engage in new, or consummate pending, strategic transactions on the agreed terms and timetable or at all.
 
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As of the date of this report, there is significant uncertainty relating to the severity of the long-term adverse impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic on the global economy, global financial markets and the Chinese economy, and we are unable to accurately predict the long-term impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic on our business. To the extent the
COVID-19
pandemic will adversely affect our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section, such as those relating to macro-economic conditions, pricing and liquidity. See also “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Marco Economic Conditions”, “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Pricing and Exchange Rate.” and “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Liquidity”.
Risks Related to Cyber Security
In recent years, we have increased the utilization of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, and other types of information technology (“IT”) in our production and operations, our activities are therefore heavily dependent on the reliability and security of our IT systems. Our IT systems may suffer disruptions due to technical failure and disruptions, cyber-attack, computer intrusions and viruses, power and network outages or natural disasters. We have adopted multi-layer technological measures for prevention and detection of cybersecurity problems, and we also train our employees in order to improve their awareness and ability to detect and respond to cybersecurity situations. If our measures prove to be insufficient, deficiencies in any processes could adversely affect or disrupt our normal operations or result in incidents or property loss or personal injuries. Cyberattacks may also result in proprietary information being altered, lost, or stolen; result in employee, customer, or third-party information or material intellectual property being breached, or otherwise disrupt our business operations. In case we suffer any grave cybersecurity incident, we could face regulatory actions, third party litigations or reputational harm in addition to being required to make compensation for direct losses resulting from the incident. As a result, we and our customers, employees, or third parties could be adversely affected, potentially having a material adverse effect on our business and financial conditions.
Risks Related to Insurance
Due to the fact that oil industry is susceptible to high and
industry-specific
risks in nature, the current ordinary commercial insurance cannot cover all the risks we are exposed to. We maintain insurance coverage against liability risks relating to assets that have significant operational risks, auto risks, and third-party liabilities for personal, property, and environmental risks, but not all, potential losses. We may suffer material losses resulting from uninsurable or uninsured risks or insufficient insurance coverage.
Item 4
— INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
Introduction
History and Development of Our Company
Our legal name is “
中国石油天然气股份有限公司
” and its English translation is PetroChina Company Limited.
We were established as a joint stock company with limited liability under the Company Law of the PRC on November 5, 1999 as part of a restructuring in which CNPC transferred to us most of the assets and liabilities of CNPC relating to its exploration and production, refining and marketing, chemicals and natural gas businesses. In April 2000, we completed a global offering of H Shares and ADSs. In September 2005, we completed a
follow-on
offering of over 3 billion H Shares. In October 2007, we issued 4 billion A Shares. The A Shares were listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in November 2007. As of December 31, 2021, CNPC beneficially owned 146,882,339,136 A Shares and 291,518,000 H Shares in us, representing approximately 80.41% of our share capital in aggregate. The H Shares held by CNPC were through Fairy King Investments Limited, an overseas wholly owned subsidiary of CNPC.
 
23

We are the largest oil and gas producer and seller occupying a leading position in the oil and gas industry in China, one of the largest companies in China in terms of sales revenue, and also one of the largest companies in the world. Currently, our principal business lines include the exploration, development, transmission, production and marketing of crude oil and natural gas; the refining of crude oil and petroleum products, as well as the production and marketing of basic petrochemical products, derivative chemical products and other chemical products; the marketing and trading of refined oil products and
non-oil
products; and the sale of natural gas. Going foward, we will actively develop new energy and new materials businesses.
Currently, substantially all of our crude oil and natural gas reserves and
production-related
assets are located in China. Our exploration, development and production activities commenced in the early 1950s. For seven decades, we have conducted crude oil and natural gas exploration activities in many regions of China. We commenced limited refining operations in the
mid-1950s.
Our chemicals operations commenced in the early 1950s. Our natural gas transmission and marketing activities commenced in Sichuan in Southwestern China in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, we began producing ethylene.
We have continued to pursue attractive business opportunities outside China as part of our business growth strategy to utilize both domestic and international resources to strengthen our competitiveness. Since 2005, we have acquired interests in various oil and natural gas assets in several countries, which significantly expanded our overseas operations and effectively increased our oil and gas reserves and production volumes. At the same time, we have been maintaining certain proportion of imported crude oil and natural gas in accordance with our needs. In 2021, we imported approximately 583.1million barrels of crude oil, as compared to 711.0 million barrels and 679.3 million barrels of crude oil in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
To address climate change concerns, we have adopted an energy transition plan. Pursuant to the plan, we will endeavor to hit carbon peak by around 2025, achieve an equal share among new energy, oil and gas (i.e., each accounting for
one-third)
in our total production capacity by around 2035, and achieve near-zero emissions by around 2050. To that end, we will devote more resources to the development of and the promotion of the utilization of the wind, photovoltaic, thermal, electric power, hydrogen and other types of new energy sources and the promotion of gas power stations.
Our headquarters are located at 9 Dongzhimen North Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, 100007, and our telephone number at this address is
(86-10)
5998-2622.
Our website address is www.petrochina.com.cn. The information on our website is not part of this annual report. We file our annual reports on Form
20-F,
interim reports on Form
6-K
and other documents required to be filed with the SEC on the SEC’s website www.sec.gov.
 
24

Our Corporate Organization Structure
The following chart illustrates our corporate organization structure as of December 31, 2021.
 

 
(1)
Indicates approximate shareholding.
(2)
Indicates approximate shareholding, including the 291,518,000 H Shares indirectly held by CNPC as of December 31, 2021 through Fairy King Investments Limited, a wholly owned overseas subsidiary of CNPC.
(3)
Includes PetroChina Exploration & Development Research Institute, PetroChina Planning & Engineering Institute, PetroChina Petrochemical Research Institute and several other companies.
 
*
Our major subsidiaries, all included in the chart above, are classified into different business segments based on the nature of their principal business activities. See Note 18 to our financial statements for a detailed discussion on this. Other than the major subsidiaries, companies in which we have equity interest mainly include China Oil & Gas Pipeline Network Corporation, CNPC Finance Co., Ltd., CNPC Captive Insurance Company Limited and other associate companies and joint ventures as well as other equity investments measured at fair value through other comprehensive income. See Note 16 and Note 17 to our financial statements for a detailed discussion.
For information on capital expenditures, please see “Item 5 — Operating and Financial Review and Prospects — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Capital Expenditures and Investments.”
Exploration and Production
We engage in crude oil and natural gas exploration, development and production. Substantially all of our total estimated proved crude oil and natural gas reserves are located in China, principally in Northeastern, Northern, Southwestern and Northwestern China. Meanwhile, we have enhanced our overseas cooperation and expanded our strategic presence in five major overseas oil and gas cooperation regions by conducting new project development.
 
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In 2021, we adhered to innovation-driven development in the domestic exploration and development business, vigorously enhanced the exploration and development of oil and gas, and endeavored to promote profitable exploration and increase oil and gas reserves and output. We achieved multiple breakthroughs and important discoveries in Ordos, Tarim, Junggar, Sichuan and other key basins, confirmed various large-scale reserves areas, thereby significantly improving the reserves replacement ratio. We implemented the strategy to maintain stable production in old oil and gas fields and undertook construction of profitable capacity in new fields. We continued to maintain the stable output of oil while increasing that of natural gas, as a result of which, the proportion of the natural gas output continuously rose. In 2021, our domestic operations achieved (i) a crude oil output of 753.4 million barrels, representing an increase of 1.3% as compared with last year, (ii) a marketable natural gas output of 4,222.2 Bcf, representing an increase of 5.7% as compared with last year, and (iii) an oil and natural gas equivalent output of 1,457.4 million barrels, representing an increase of 3.4% as compared with last year. We endeavored to expedite our transition to a green and
low-carbon
energy producer, including by investing significant efforts in the development of our new energy business, establishing the Shenzhen New Energy Research Institute, actively promoting the development of new energy and new industry-related projects and continuing to improve the development capability and increase the utilization of new energy sources. The Yumen photovoltaic power generation project with a capacity of 200,000 KW was completed and put into operation, a breakthrough which marked the start of external clean electricity supply for our exploration and production business. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei geothermal heating demonstration base, and a series of wind and photovoltaic power generation projects and CCUS projects in Jilin, Daqing, Changqing and Jidong proceeded steadily.
In 2021, our overseas oil and gas business developed steadily. Important discoveries have been made in various projects such as Niger and Chad, promoting the development of oil and gas exploration in those regions in an orderly manner. We completed the construction and commenced the production of multiple newly-built overseas projects such as the PSA project in Chad, and acquired partial interests in Rumaila project. A number of low profitability projects were transferred and disposed. As a result, the structure of our overseas oil and gas assets was continuously optimized. In 2021, (i) the crude oil output from overseas operations amounted to 134.5 million barrels, representing a decrease of 24.4% as compared with last year, (ii) the output of marketable natural gas was 197.8 Bcf, representing a decrease of 12.9% as compared with last year, and (iii) the output of oil and gas equivalent was 167.4 million barrels, representing a decrease of 22.4% as compared with last year. In 2021, the crude oil and natural gas produced by us at overseas regions accounted for 15.1%% and 4.5% of our total production of crude oil and natural gas, respectively, and accounted for 10.3% of our total oil and natural gas equivalent output. The decrease in overseas oil and gas production was mainly due to the impact of the increase in international oil prices, the decrease in product sharing of certain overseas projects and the production restriction policies in some resource-rich countries.
In 2021, our crude oil output amounted to 887.9 million barrels, representing a decrease of 3.7% as compared with last year. The marketable natural gas output reached 4,420.0 Bcf, representing an increase of 4.7% as compared with last year. The oil and natural gas equivalent output amounted to 1,624.8 million barrels, generally remaining the same as last year.
As of December 31, 2021, we hold exploration and exploitation licenses for oil and gas (including coalbed methane) covering a total area of approximately 263.4 million acres, including the exploration licenses covering a total area of approximately 227.0 million acres and the production licenses covering a total area of approximately 36.4 million acres.
 
26

The following table sets forth the financial and operating data of our exploration and production segment for each of the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021:
 
    
Year Ended December 31,
 
    
2019
    
2020
    
2021
 
Revenue (RMB in millions)
     676,320        530,807        688,334  
Profit from operations (RMB in millions)
     96,097        23,092        68,452  
Proved developed and undeveloped reserves Crude oil (million barrels)
     7,253.3        5,206.1        6,063.8  
Natural gas (Bcf)
     76,236.0        76,437.1        74,915.9  
Production
        
Crude oil (million barrels)
     909.3        921.8        887.9  
Natural gas for sale (Bcf)
     3,908.0        4,221.0        4,420.0  
Reserves
As of December 31, 2021, our total estimated proved reserves of crude oil was approximately 6,063.8 million barrels and our total estimated proved reserves of natural gas was approximately 74,915.9 Bcf. As of December 31, 2021, proved developed reserves for crude oil and natural gas accounted for 88.6% and 56.8% of our total proved crude hydrocarbon reserves, respectively. Total proved hydrocarbon reserves, including our overseas crude oil reserves of 778.2 million barrels and overseas natural gas reserves of 1,455.9 Bcf, increased by 3.4% from approximately 17,945.6 million BOE as of December 31, 2020 to approximately 18,549.8 million BOE as of December 31, 2021. Natural gas as a percentage of total proved hydrocarbon reserves was 67.3% as of December 31, 2021.
Approximately 54%, 54% and 57% of our estimated proved reserves as of December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively, were assessed by our internal assessment team and audited by our independent engineering consultants. Other information regarding our estimated proved reserves was based on the reserves reports prepared by our independent engineering consultants in accordance with the reserves assessment methodology generally adopted in the U.S. The reserves assessments and reports of our company were performed and prepared in compliance with SEC’s oil and gas reserves reporting rules. Our reserves estimates include only crude oil and natural gas which we believe can be reasonably produced within the current terms of our production licenses or within the terms of the licenses which we are reasonably certain to be renewed. See “Regulatory Matters — Exploration Licenses and Production Licenses” for a discussion of our production licenses. Also see “Item 3 — Key Information — Risk Factors — Risks Related to Oil and Gas Reserves” for a discussion of the uncertainty inherent in the estimation of proved reserves.
We have adopted methods generally accepted in the industry to assess our proved reserves, including production decline curve analysis methods, volumetric methods, material balance methods, and reservoir simulation methods, or a combination of these methods, and took into account economic conditions in performing the assessments. Basic information used by us to assess our proved reserves estimates include geological, geophysical, engineering and financial data as well as other relevant data. In order to satisfy the requirements for establishing a reasonable certainty for proved reserves, including material increase in proved reserves estimates, we adopted field-tested repeatable and consistent reliable technologies, including, among others, logging, 3D seismic data, rock core analyses, static or dynamic pressure tests and production well testing. To the extent that appropriate analogous reservoirs are available, we use analogous reservoir parameters to enhance the quality of our reserves assessment results so as to be consistent with the reliable results required for proved reserves assessment as specified in applicable SEC rules.
Internal Controls Over Reserves Estimates
We have appointed a reserves management committee. The leader of the committee is our president.
 
27

We have implemented a practicing professional certification regime to supervise our employees engaged in oil and gas reserves evaluation and auditing functions. We have set up a team of reserves auditors covering our headquarter office and regional companies to perform reserves evaluation and audits. Meanwhile, we have established a special reserves management department in our exploration and production segment. Each of the officers and employees of that department has over 20 years of experience in oil industry and many years of experience in
SEC-guided
reserves evaluation. All of the members of that department hold national certified qualifications for handling reserves matters. Each regional company has established a reserves management committee and a
multi-disciplinary
reserves research office. Mr. Duan Xiaowen from the Reserves Administration Division of our exploration and production branch company, is the person in charge of our reserves estimation. Mr. Duan holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and a master’s degree in business administration. He has many years of work experience in oil and gas exploration and development industry and has been engaged in reserves estimate and management for a long time. Since 2008, Mr. Duan has been involved in the supervision of reserves estimation and management in our company. In 2016, Mr. Duan became the division head primarily responsible for overseeing the preparation of the reserves estimates, estimation technology and management. The reserves research offices of the regional companies are responsible for estimating newly discovered reserves and updating the estimates of existing reserves. The results of our oil and gas reserves assessment are subject to a
two-level
review by both the regional companies and our exploration and production branch company, with final examination and approval of the reserves management committee.
In addition, we commissioned independent assessment firms to independently reassess or audit our annually assessed proved reserves in accordance with relevant SEC rules. We disclose the reserves in accordance with the SEC’s oil and gas reporting rules.
The independent engineering consultants providing us with reserves audit and/or assessment for 2021 were DeGolyer and MacNaughton, Ryder Scott Company L.P., GLJ Petroleum Consultants and McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd. None of them or their partners, senior officers or employees has any direct or indirect financial interest in our company and the remunerations to the firms are not in any way contingent upon reported reserves estimates. The summaries of the reserves assessment reports and audit reports issued to us by the foregoing independent engineering consultants have been included as exhibits 15.1 through 15.5 to this annual report on Form
20-F.
The following table sets forth our estimated proved reserves (including proved developed reserves and proved undeveloped reserves), proved developed reserves and proved undeveloped reserves of crude oil and natural gas and the changes therein as of December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
 
    
Crude Oil and
Condensate
(1)
   
Natural Gas 
(2)
   
Combined
 
    
(Million barrels)
   
(Bcf)
   
(BOE, in millions)
 
Proved developed and undeveloped reserves
      
On a consolidated basis:
      
Reserves as of December 31, 2018
     7,640.8       76,467.0       20,385.3  
Revisions of previous estimates
     (49.7     (765.6     (177.1
Extensions and discoveries
     480.6       4,442.6       1,221.0  
Improved recovery
     90.9       —         90.9  
Production for the year
     (909.3     (3,908.0     (1,560.8
Reserves as of December 31, 2019
     7,253.3       76,236.0       19,959.3  
Revisions of previous estimates
     (1,553.1     (595.3     (1,652.2
Extensions and discoveries
     385.2       4,976.1       1,214.6  
Improved recovery
     107.7       —         107.7  
Purchased
     15.0       106.9       32.8  
Sold
     (80.2     (65.6     (91.1
Production for the year
     (921.8     (4,221.0     (1,625.5
Reserves as of December 31, 2020
     5,206.1       76,437.1       17,945.6  
Revisions of previous estimates
     1,159.1       (2,011.6     824.1  
 
28

    
Crude Oil and
Condensate
(1)
   
Natural Gas 
(2)
   
Combined
 
    
(Million barrels)
   
(Bcf)
   
(BOE, in millions)
 
Extensions and discoveries
     472.3       4,885.3       1,286.5  
Improved recovery
     116.7       27.0       121.2  
Purchased
     —         —         —    
Sold
     (2.5     (1.9     (2.8
Production for the year
     (887.9     (4,420.0     (1,624.8
Reserves as of December 31, 2021
     6,063.8       74,915.9       18,549.8  
Proved developed reserves
      
As of December 31, 2018
     5,843.1       40,128.2       12,531.1  
Of which: domestic
     5,203.4       38,433.2       11,609.0  
Overseas
     639.7       1,695.0       922.1  
As of December 31, 2019
     5,473.8       39,869.6       12,118.7  
Of which: domestic
     4,840.0       38,376.3       11,236.0  
Overseas
     633.8       1,493.3       882.7  
As of December 31, 2020
     4,653.6       42,076.7       11,666.4  
Of which: domestic
     3,987.0       40,732.3       10,775.8  
Overseas
     666.6       1,344.4       890.6  
As of December 31, 2021
     5,374.8       42,575.6       12,470.7  
Of which: domestic
     4,799.6       41,343.5       11,690.2  
Overseas
     575.2       1,232.1       780.5  
Proved undeveloped reserves
      
As of December 31, 2018
     1,797.7       36,338.8       7,854.2  
Of which: domestic
     1,626.4       36,046.9       7,634.2  
Overseas
     171.3       291.9       220.0  
As of December 31, 2019
     1,779.5       36,366.4       7,840.6  
Of which: domestic
     1,659.8       36,156.8       7,686.0  
Overseas
     119.7       209.6       154.6  
As of December 31, 2020
     552.5       34,360.4       6,279.2