BEIJING, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- China National Offshore Oil Corp., the country's largest producer, said its 2016 production forecast is lower than last year by about 3.5 percent.
CNOOC set a production target for the year in the range of 470 million to 485 million barrels of oil equivalent.
"The net production targets set for 2017 and 2018 are around 484 and 502 million boe respectively," the company said. "The estimated net production for 2015 was approximately 495 million boe."
The decline comes as the slowing in the Chinese economy is putting downward pressure on crude oil prices. The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics reported the economy in 2015 grew 6.9 percent year-on-year for its slowest rate in a quarter of a century.
Wang Baoan, the head of the NBS, was quoted by China's official Xinhua News Agency as saying the country has the "daunting task" of enacting deep reforms to slow the pace of economic decline.
CNOOC said that, in light of the economic pressures, it would put cost control and efficiency at the forefront of its agenda for 2016.
"In response to the continued challenge posed by low oil prices, we will maintain prudent financial policy and further strengthen cost-control measures in order to make steady progress in the overall business, including exploration, development and production," Chief Financial Officer Zhong Hua said in a statement.
CNOOC said spending for 2016 would be "no more than $9.1 billion." That's down nearly 11 percent from last year.