Oil company mixes search for profits with strategic role

23 August 2016

Some experts question why Cnooc has promised to intensify its efforts in the UK. A company that is majority-owned by the Chinese state and is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, it makes most of its revenues from the North Sea. Last year its net profit was more than £2.2 billion but it expects to show a hefty loss for the first half of this year because of the lower oil price.

Cnooc owns Nexen partly through offshore companies incorporated in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, said Jason Ward, a strategist at the International Transport Workers Federation, who is preparing to release a report on the tax affairs of Chevron, another oil major operating in the North Sea.

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