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PetroChina profit up 4 percent as gas sales rise

BEIJING (AP) -- State-owned PetroChina, East Asia's biggest oil producer, said Thursday its first-half profit rose 4 percent as sales of gasoline and natural gas increased.

PetroChina Ltd. earned 68.1 billion yuan ($11.2 billion), or 0.37 yuan (6 U.S. cents) per share, in the six months ended June 30. Revenue rose 4.8 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($180 billion).

Gasoline consumption rose 1.3 percent by volume but sales rose 9.7 percent after increases in state-set prices. Natural gas sales rose 8.9 percent after an increase in prices.

PetroChina's parent company, China National Petroleum Corp., has been embroiled in a corruption scandal. Its former head, Zhou Yongkang, and other present and former executives are under investigation.

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