State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Saturday reported over 67 percent fall in the December quarter net profit on back of a drop in oil and gas prices.
Standalone net profit in October-December quarter at Rs 1,378 crore was 67.4 percent lower than Rs 4,226 crore net profit in the same quarter of the previous year, the company said in a statement here.
The company realised $43.9 on every barrel of crude oil it produced and sold in the third quarter of the current fiscal, down from $58.24 a barrel it had realised in the same period a year back. Government-mandated gas price dropped to $1.79 per million British thermal unit from $3.23 per mmBtu rate it got in October-December 2019.
Turnover was down 28 percent at Rs 17,024 crore.
The company board at its meeting on Saturday approved interim dividend of 35 percent – Rs 1.75 on each equity share of Rs 5.
“The total payout on this account will be Rs 2,201.55 crore,” the statement said. Also, the board approved formation of a new wholly-owned subsidiary company for focusing on gas and LNG business value chain subject to necessary approvals.
“The company is being formed with the objective of sourcing, marketing and trading of natural gas, LNG business, Hydrogen enriched CNG (HCNG), gas to power business, bio-energy/ bio-gas/ bio methane/ other biofuels business, etc,” the statement said.
ONGC said its board has also approved acquisition of 5 percent equity in Indian Gas Exchange Ltd (IGX) as strategic investment.
IGX is a subsidiary of IEX, India’s first and leading power exchange. IGX Ltd is presently India’s first and only authorized gas exchange, which provides an automated platform for trading of natural gas, covering a wide range of products.
“As an important stakeholder in the gas sector, it would be critical for ONGC to participate at the gas exchange for development of the gas sector. ONGC’s interests towards realizing maximum value from its gas marketing efforts may be substantiated through this first gas trading platform in the country,” it said.
This partnership, ONGC said, is expected to play a role in achieving the Government of India’s vision for increasing the share of natural gas from 6 percent to 15 percent in India’s energy basket.
ONGC declared a total of eight discoveries (3 in onland, 5 in offshore) during FY2020-21 in its operated acreages. Out of these, 4 are prospects (1 in onland, 3 in offshore) and 4 are pools (2 in onland, 2 in offshore).
The company in December opened the Bengal Basin, the 8th producing basin of India. With the beginning of production from Asokenagar in West Bengal, ONGC has discovered seven out of eight producing basins of the country, covering 83 percent of established oil and gas reserves.
“ONGC’s exploratory asset in Silchar has monetized the Bhubandar field on December 7, 2020 by connecting the well BU-7 to South Banskandi GCS (Gas Compressor Station). Gas from this project is primarily being supplied to AGCL and additional quantities will be feeder to city gas distribution network and North East (NE) Gas Grid, a part of Urja Ganga Scheme,” the statement added.