Millennium Post

First clear our dues... then we'll fund your field: OVL to Venezuela

New Delhi: ONGC Videsh has conditioned arranging for finances for remediating and raising oil production at Venezuela's San Cristobal field on the cash-strapped Latin American nation clearing its past dividend dues.

The firm's parent, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in a regulatory filing said Venezuela has not paid OVL $449 million (about Rs 3,305 crore) of accrued dividend for four years.

OVL has 40 per cent stake in the San Cristobal field, which produces around 18,000 barrels of oil per day. Venezuelan national oil company Petroleos De Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), which holds the remaining 60 per cent stake, has not paid the dividend to Indian firm since 2009.

In response to comments sought by stock exchanges over a PTI story on Venezuela stopping dividend payments to OVL, ONGC said Venezuela had in November 2016 agreed to pay $537.63 million of dividend due for 2009 to 2013, in installments. In lieu, OVL agreed to help PDVSA arrange $318 million financing for the San Cristobal project.

"Though ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) received its dividend of $56.22 million for 2008, dividends for 2009 to 2013 totalling $537.63 million remained unpaid. The dividend for 2014 and onwards is yet to be declared by the shareholders," ONGC said in the filing.

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