Benefitting from high crude oil prices and foreign exchange fluctuations, state-run producer and explorer of oil and gas — the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) — on Saturday announced a 48% jump in its net profit at Rs 6,078 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal as against Rs 4,095 crore in the same period a year ago.
The revenues of ONGC, which is India’s third-largest company by market value reported, increased to Rs 21,216 crore from April-June of this fiscal from Rs 17,128.9 crore for the quarter a year ago.
ONGC, that prices its locally produced gas in dollars, has also benefited from the sharp depreciation in the rupee. The rupee weakened by 8.5% during the April-June period and has lost a fifth of its value over a year.
However, ONGC did not fully benefit from rising crude prices because India caps prices of petroleum products such as diesel, cooking gas and kerosene and state-owned oil and gas producers such as ONGC share the cost of subsidising refineries.
Net oil sale realisations, after discounts to state-run refiners, were $46.6 per barrel, down from $48.7 a barrel a year ago.
ONGC said its net profit was reduced by Rs 7,150 crore for the quarter due to gross discounts of Rs 12,346 crores that it gave to state-run refiners.
New oil block
ONGC announced a huge oil discovery off the west coast, a move that will help the country cut its huge oil import bill (close to $150 billion during 2011-12) and raise its sagging oil production. The new discovery was made in the currently producing D1 oilfield.
The find “will catapult D1 to become the third largest field in western offshore after Mumbai High and Heera,” said ONGC.