China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) announced on Sunday a 2 percent rise in profit for the year 2011 thanks to higher oil prices and increasing fuel sales.

The complex and turbulent worldwide political and economic environment in 2011 saw global crude oil prices remain high and volatile, the company said in a statement. Rising domestic inflationary pressure and continuing price controls on refined oil in China generated immense challenges for the business.” it added.

In response to those difficulties, Sinopec continued to review the company's processes in an effort to increase efficiency, ensure safe production, and improve energy savings and reduce emissions. As a result, the company achieved the best performance in its history, Sinopec stated.

Sinopec's exploration and production division attained an operating profit of 71.2 billion yuan ($11.2 billion) last year. At the same time the company had faced refining losses amounting to 37.6 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) in 2011.

It is reported that 217 million tonnes of crude oil was processed by Sinopec in 2011. This is an increase by 3 percent from 2010.

Sinopec has future plans for processing 326.52 million barrels of crude oil and 582.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas. We estimate that in 2012, the price of international crude oil will generally fluctuate in a high range due to the tight geopolitical situation, Chairman Fu Chengyu said in a statement.

The global economy in 2012 continues to face serious challenges, and in light of complex geopolitical tensions, international oil prices are expected to remain high. With domestic economic growth facing downward pressure, the growth in demand for refining and chemical products is expected to ease, he added.