China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. or Sinopec, saw it net profit climb to 70 billion yuan ($9.6 billion) in 2007, up 38.2% from a year earlier, according to wire reports which cited a Xinhua News Agency report.

The Xinhua report cited Sinopec senior executive Cai Xiyou as saying the higher profit was helped by cost controls and improved technology.

In a related development, the Hong Kong English-language The Standard reported Friday Sinopec was likely to receive a government subsidy of between 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) and 15 billion yuan to compensate the refiner for persistent losses on what it pays for crude oil and what it charges end customers for gasoline and other products.

The report, which cited unnamed Beijing officials, said the subsidy was created viewed as necessary with crude oil trading at the $100-per-barrel level and would formally announced in the next few days.