China's top oil producer, PetroChina, announced its shareholders had agreed at a Thursday board meeting to issue up to 60 billion yuan ($8.6 billion) of corporate bonds on the mainland market.
The move was intended to "satisfy the operational needs of the company, further improve its debt structure, reduce financing costs and supplement working capital," said the announcement.
The proceeds from the bonds will also be invested in projects such as China's second west-east natural gas pipeline, said the company.
With an investment of 142.2 billion yuan, the pipeline is expected to pump natural gas from central Asia and western China to the country's southern and eastern economic hubs by 2011.
"Soaring world crude prices cause sharply higher windfall taxes, while the government keeps domestic refined oil prices far below international levels, and the company plans to raise money by issuing corporate bonds," said the company.
With durations of up to 15 years, the bonds will be issued in one or several tranches and may have the same or different maturities, said the company.
PetroChina is the listing company of China National Petroleum Corp. Its shares suspended trading on the Shanghai Stock market on Thursday because of the board meeting.