The Chinese oil major posted net profit of 34.2 billion yuan ($5.47 billion) in the three months to the end of March, a 5% slide from the 36 billion yuan a year earlier, Reuters reported.
Although crude prices were down, the company was bolstered by a strong recovery in the refinery and fuel retailing businesses, the news wire said.
Late last month PetroChina vowed to cut its capital expenditure for only the second time in 14 years as it begins to turn to value over volume.
The Hong Kong- and New York-listed state oil giant has also been seeking to boost shareholder returns in the midst of a massive corruption probe.
PetroChina said its forecasted capital expenditure would fall 7% year-on-year to 296.5 billion yuan in 2014, and said capex would remain at around the 300 billion yuan level for the next “several years”.
The capex cut comes despite earnings exceeding the company’s expectations in 2013.
Profits rose 12.4% year-on-year in 2013 for PetroChina to 129.59 billion yuan on turnover up 2.9% to 2.25 trillion yuan.
Crude oil output rose 1.8% to around 932 million barrels of oil while gas production rose 9.5% to 2.8 billion cubic feet.