Source AP ©

PetroChina to issue shares in Shanghai

A plan by PetroChina Co. to issue shares in Shanghai was improved by China's securities regulator.

PetroChina, which has shares traded in Hong Kong and New York, announced earlier that it plans to sell up to 4 billion new shares, or 2.18 percent of its enlarged capital, in the Shanghai initial public offering. It has not said how much it expects to raise in the IPO.

Last week, China's environmental watchdog reported that the company had obtained approval for six major projects to be funded with proceeds from the IPO.

PetroChina's Hong Kong traded shares jumped 10.3 percent Monday to 14.30 Hong Kong dollars as investors awaited the expected approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

The company expects to use some of the money raised in the domestic share offering to help boost oil and gas output.

The company believes that a recent oil discovery at its Jidong Nanpu oil field, off China's northeast coast in the Bohai Bay, could be found to have proven reserves of up to 1.6 billion tons of oil equivalent, the state-run newspaper China Daily reported Monday, citing the company's chief geologist, Jia Chengzao.

Current proven reserves were 445 million tons of oil equivalent, it said.

Jia said it could take five or six years to confirm the extent of the reserves, the report said.

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