Cairn India on Friday reported more than doubling of the second-quarter net profit after it managed to slash operating cost and reduced discounts on Rajasthan crude oil sales.
Net profit in July-September at Rs 779 crore, or Rs 4.14 per share, was 139 per cent higher than Rs 326 crore, or Rs 1.73 a share, in the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement.
Cairn, the company that gave the country it biggest onland oilfield, reported a flat output and a 9 per cent drop in turnover to Rs 2,039 crore.
“Discount to Brent for Rajasthan crude declined substantially from $8.2 per barrel to $4.3 a barrel, implying a reduction in discount from 18 per cent to 9.3 per cent,” it said.
An improvement in differential between Bonny Light and Brent, and strong refining crack for fuel oil and waxy residue helped reduce the discount. Cairn realised $41.6 per barrel in Q2 when benchmark Brent price were relatively flat on average basis at $45.8. “Continued drive for cost optimization has reduced the operating cost for Rajasthan,” the statement said adding blended operating cost for Rajasthan block was reduced by 10 per cent to $5.8 per barrel oil equivalent. Net capital investment was Rs 45 crore in the second quarter of the current fiscal. “Positive free cash generation further strengthened the cash and cash equivalent position to Rs 24,339 crore ($3.7 billion),” it said. Rajasthan output was flat at 167,699 barrels per oil equivalent. Sudhir Mathur, Acting CEO of Cairn India, said: “The Cairn India team has delivered a net profit of Rs 779 crore for the quarter ended September 2016 in a challenging oil price environment. This is the highest quarterly profit for the company over the past six quarters and is reflective of our industry leading technological and operational capabilities.”
“Our efforts to monetize our world class resource base through improved economics have resulted in the key projects — RDG Gas, Bhagyam and Aishwariya EOR — becoming viable by achieving the desired IRR even at Brent at $40 per barrel,” he added. Cairn said a net capital investment of $100 million is estimated for FY17, including 20 per cent for exploration activities and 80 per cent for development of gas project and completion activities of Mangala enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the Rajasthan block. The gross production from Rajasthan for FY17 is expected to be maintained at FY16 level.
“Efforts are ongoing to further improve the economics of key projects...low oil prices and the pre-development investment is underway to ensure project readiness for the development with grant of extension of (license for Rajasthan block). The company retains the flexibility to raise its capital investment as oil prices improve and aims to generate a healthy cash flow post capex so as to retain the ability to pay dividends,” the statement added.