Millennium Post

Despite world slowdown, OVL gas output up 4.8%

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), reported a 39 per cent drop in net profit for the first six months (April-September) of the current fiscal (2012-13) as output dropped in nations like Sudan and Syria.

The net profit during the first half of the financial year dropped by 39.3 per cent to Rs 1,649 crore from Rs 2,717 crore during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal (2011-12), the company said in a press statement here.

ONGC Videsh Ltd, which has 31 oil and gas assets in 15 countries, said that crude oil production dropped 32.9 per cent to 2.276 million tonnes (mt) from 3.39 mt in the first half of 2011-12.

Natural gas output, however, increased by 4.8 per cent to 1.212 billion cubic meters.

ONGC Videsh Ltd's sales dipped by 33.2 per cent to Rs 8,279 crore in the six months to September 30.

The company did not give the quarterly break-up of figures.

ONGC Videsh Ltd said that oil production from its fields in Sudan has been shut since January following the partition of the African nation into Sudan and South Sudan.

Also, the current geo-political situation in Syria, including sanctions imposed by the 27-nation European Union (EU) and the resulting restrictions, has made operations 'difficult' since December 2011.

It is targeting production of 20 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas by the financial year 2017-18 and 60 million tonnes by 2029-30.

In September ONGC Videsh Ltd acquired Hess Corp's 2.7213 per cent participating interest in the Azeri, Chirag and deep water portion of oil Guneshli fields in the Azerbaijan sector for $1.001 billion.

'The acquisition would bring 9 per cent additional proven reserves to ONGC Videsh Ltd's portfolio and daily oil production of about 19,000 barrels,' it said.

Also, production of gas started at the Lan Do field in Block 06.1 in Vietnam from October 7.

'This shall create an additional production capacity of 0.20 billion cubic meters (OVL's share) from the block (17 per cent increase),' it said.

ONGC Videsh Ltd informed that after the secession of South Sudan from Sudan with effect from July 9, 2011, the company's oil blocks 1,2 and 4 straddle between the two countries and Block 5A is now entirely in South Sudan.

The government of South Sudan has now issued an order for resumption of crude oil production followings its agreement with the government of the Republic of Sudan.
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