The state-run company has decided to cut its capital spending by about 10% to approximately $43bn, after it recorded a 67% fall in earnings for the fourth quarter.

PetroChina is also planning to swap assets, mostly oil sands in Canada, with foreign companies.

PetroChina vice chairman and president Wang Dongjin said that the company plans to complete a multi-billion dollar plan to divest parts of its gas and oil pipelines this year.

Reuters quoted Dongjin as saying: "It is crucial to maintain cash flows if an oil and gas company wants to overcome difficulties brought about by low oil prices.

"We are thinking about the possibility of an asset swap. We are actively engaged in talks with international oil companies."

Crude prices has slumped by 50% since June, resulting in major cuts in jobs and capital expenditure by major oil and gas companies.