Millennium Post

Cairn India for predictable taxes and contract sanctity

Addressing the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM) of shareholders here, Chairman Navin Agrawal said that for a nation undergoing transformational changes, a simple and forward-looking policy to encourage investment that maximises domestic oil and gas production would be a key enabler.

Citing example of the US which has turned from net importer of oil and gas to an exporter, he said: ‘Much like the US, maximum value can be created by encouraging domestic production of hydrocarbons. Can we as a nation, draw lessons from the US? Clearly, above-the-ground factors together with good infrastructure played a key role.

‘Simple policy framework, predictability of taxes and fiscal regime, maintaining contract sanctity and facilitating private sector capital are key levers which have been effectively utilised by the US. This led to their energy renaissance.’

Domestic production, he said, has a transformational role in a nation's development. It increases government's revenue because of taxes and production levies. In turn, however, imported barrels of oil result in transferring our wealth.

‘Adopting a strategic vision for our exploration and production (E&P) sector and following through with a stable policy regime can be a game-changer for India's upstream oil and gas landscape,’ he said.

Not only will it help minimise costly imports but will also strengthen our nation's balance of trade. ‘Thus, we need to make every effort to increase domestic production by maximising our resource potential,’ he said.

Cairn produces a fourth of nation's domestic oil production with about 200,000 barrels per day of output from its prolific Rajasthan fields.

Agarwal said Cairn's production helped reduce the India's import bill by over Rs 48,000 crore. ‘Our annual contribution of over Rs 32,000 crore to the government and its nominees would further strengthen government's efforts to initiate and implement developmental programmes and projects that benefit our citizens at large.’

Cairn, he said, is actively pursuing natural gas development project in the predominantly oil-rich Rajasthan.

‘We see this as being a key growth area, with the potential to be a significant part of the company's overall production mix in the years to come,’ he said.

Cairn is drilling in Rajasthan to produce 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent hydrocarbon resources.
‘We are committed to a net investment of $3 billion for our three year capital expenditure programme. We are confident that this will lead to a reserve replacement ratio of 150 per cent and help us deliver a growth of 7-10 per cent in production over the next three years, from the Rajasthan block,’ he said. Meanwhile, Cairn India on Wednesday reported a 10 per cent rise in its sales to Rs 4,483 crore but its profit declined 65 per cent to Rs 1,093 crore.

Cairn, which is investing $3 billion in raising oil production from the Rajasthan block, plans to invest another $200 million in developing a gas find in the predominantly oil-rich block.

Rajasthan block oil production was up 5 per cent at 181,894 barrels per day while gas output
doubled to 8 million standard cubic feet per day.
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