The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Oil flare-up sends net profit of ONGC soaring

New Delhi, March 3: The surge in crude prices has come as a boon for upstream oil major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) sending its net profit soaring past the Rs 10,000-crore mark for the fiscal ended March 31, 2003. This whopping 68 per cent increase at Rs 10,436 crore over the net profit of Rs 6,197 crore recorded in 2001-02 consolidates ONGC’s standing at the top of the Indian corporate ladder.

However, if a provision of Rs 5,698 crore for tax is made and a Rs 154-crore adjustment for the loss of the recently acquired Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) is taken into account, the net profit of ONGC works out to Rs 10,282 crore.

The company’s crude output went up by 5 per cent during the year to touch 26 million tonnes. Most of the increase is reported to have come from the re-development of Bombay High.

The oil major has also achieved the highest-ever production of natural gas at 24.3 billion cubic tonnes. Another 3.8 million tonnes of value added products were also produced. These include petrochemical feedstock, LPG, naphtha, natural gas liquids and kerosene.

ONGC officially said it has made six new oil and gas discoveries during the financial year. The oil and gas discoveries at Vasai West in the western offshore with 240 million barrels of in-place oil and Laipling-gaon in Assam with 100 million barrels of oil are the biggest of the lot.

The other strikes were at GS-49 (gas), GS-KW (oil and gas) both in the Krishna Godavari offshore, Chinnewala Tibba (gas) in Rajasthan and Banamali (oil) in Assam. The gas found in Rajasthan is reported to be of a very high quality. In all these areas 3D seismic surveys and exploratory drilling is reported to have been accelerated.

The company claims to have recorded a positive reserve accretion of 65-70 million tonnes of oil plus oil-equivalent gas from domestic and foreign assets. ONGC-Videsh’s gas property in Vietnam went into commercial production in December 2002 and the more recently acquired Sudan oilfield yield also started accruing from September of that year.

ONGC’s turnover increased from Rs 23,857 crore to Rs 35,821 crore in 2002-03 which represents a 50 per cent hike. The consolidated turnover of the ONGC group crossed Rs 40,000 crore. It is effectively a debt-free company after having pre-paid the foreign loans in May-June 2002.

The corporation has already declared an interim dividend of 140 per cent for 2003-03 and a cheque of Rs 2,038 crore has been presented to the government. It had declared a dividend of 140 per cent a year earlier.

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