Cnooc Q4 Profit Surges

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Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil explorer, said its fourth-quarter profit jumped 72% to $2.36 billion, the company's best-ever fourth-quarter results as rising oil prices and increased production helped bolster the numbers. The company cautioned that rising costs could be an issue this year.

Last year, Cnooc's net production reached 328.8 million barrels of oil equivalent, up 44.4% year-over-year, representing the highest production growth in its history, the company said in a statement. Unlike other Chinese oil majors, Cnooc (CEO), strictly relies on oil production for almost all of its profit, making the company vulnerable to volatile oil prices.

The company said it started nine new projects last year and that it achieved 12 independent discoveries and successfully appraised 12 oil and gas structures by 18 appraisal wells in offshore China. Cnooc's reserve replacement ratio amounted to 202%, the highest since 2003.

Cnooc, China's third-largest oil producer, spent roughly $2.5 billion on exploration and production projects last year.