Millennium Post

ONGC Videsh shines despite global crude oil price slide

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), on Monday reported an increase in crude oil production to 5.53 million tonnes (mt) in 2014-15, which is substantially higher than the 5.48 mt it produced a year ago. Gas output was 16.37 per cent higher at 3.34 billion cubic meters. The company reported a 57.16 per cent fall in its net profit at Rs 1,904 crore in FY 2014-15, mainly due to lower oil prices. OVL is the unlisted overseas arm of ONGC and only reports yearly earning numbers. The company’s net profit in the previous fiscal stood at Rs 4,445 crore, it said in a statement. The revenue fell by 14.63 per cent to Rs 18,491 crore. 

“Despite higher production during FY’15, the decrease in profit is mainly due to lower oil prices, higher financing cost including exchange loss, higher depletion charge, and impairment provision in one of the assets,” the statement said. OVL has stake in 36 projects in 17 countries including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Iraq, Syria, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam and New Zealand.

Out of these 36 projects, 13 are producing, 4 are discovered/under development, 17 are exploratory and remaining two are pipeline projects. It currently produces about 167,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas per day and has total oil and gas reserves of about 612 million tonnes of oil equivalent as on March 31. OVL said with award of exploration permit PEP 57090 in the Taranaki offshore basin by New Zealand Government on December 9, 2014, operations in Pacific Region have begun.

While production from Arkutun-Dagi field in the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia commenced in January, gas export pipeline project in Block BC-10, Brazil was commissioned in November 2014 leading to gas export about 0.27 million standard cubic meters. In A-1/A3 Project, Myanmar, plateau gas production rate of 14.2 mmscmd was achieved in December, 2014. “Oil production from Petro Carabobo, Venezuela, crossed 16,000 barrels per day on March 16, 2015 with average oil production of 9,775 bpd during FY’15 compared to 3,293 bod during FY’14,” the statement said adding first crude cargo of 1.2 million barrel from the project was lifted by Reliance Industries in May last year.

Geo-political situation in Syria including EU sanctions and the resulting restrictions on contractors continue adversely affecting Syrian operations since December 2011. Also, operations in South Sudan projects are temporarily under shutdown after internal conflicts and adverse security situation in the country since December 22, 2013. “The operations in South Sudan shall resume once security 
situation improves,” the statement added. 

Downstream regulator extends bidding for CNG retail licences
Oil regulator PNGRB has extended bidding to issue licences for retailing CNG and piped cooking gas in 20 cities, including Haridwar and Aligarh, by one month following poor response for more than half of the cities. Of the 20 cities for which Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) wanted to issue city gas distribution licenses, 8 did not get any bid while 4 others got single bids at the close of tender on Friday. 

“Hence, it has been decided to extend the last date for issuance and submission of bids by one month,” PNGRB said in a notice. Bids can now be submitted by June 22. In February, PNGRB invited bids for development of city gas distribution networks in East Godavari, West Godavari, Belgaum, Ahmadnagar, Krishna, Muzaffarnagar, Badaun, Aligarh, Bulandshahr, Banaskantha, Tumkur, Latur, Dhar, Dahod, Shivpuri Haridwar, Dharwad, Bidar, Osmanabd and Udham Singh Nagar.

PNGRB said it received no bids for Badaun, Aligarh and Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, Latur in Maharashtra, Dhar and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh, Bidar in Karnataka and Osmanabad in Maharashtra. Further, only single bid was received for Ahmadnagar in Maharashtra, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Banaskantha and Dahod in Gujarat, it said. Bidders were asked to quote the tariff they will charge for the pipeline network to be laid in the city and the compression charge for dispensing CNG (compressed natural gas) over the 25 years. They were also asked to quote the inch-kilometre of steel pipelines they will lay during first five years and the number of domestic consumers proposed to be connected by piped natural gas, according to the regulator. 
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