State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Thursday reported a 65 per cent jump in its third quarter net profit as higher prices made up for a fall in oil output.
Net profit in October-December 2018 at Rs 8,262.70 crore, or Rs 6.44 per share, was higher than Rs 5,014.67 crore, or Rs 3.91 a share, net earning in the same period of the previous fiscal, the company said in a statement.
The company got USD 66.38 for every barrel of crude oil it sold in the quarter, 13.6 per cent higher than USD 58.42 per barrel realisation a year ago. Gas prices were 163 per cent higher at USD 3.36 per million British thermal unit.
ONGC said crude oil production dropped 4.8 per cent to 6.03 million tonne but gas output rose 6.6 per cent to 6.7 billion cubic metre.
Revenue from operations rose to Rs 27,694.09 crore from Rs 22,995.88 crore in the third quarter of 2017-18 fiscal.
ONGC said its board also approved payment of an interim dividend of Rs 5.25 per share for 2018-19 fiscal. The total payout on this account will be Rs 6,605 crore (excluding dividend distribution tax).
The company made oil and gas discoveries in Kutch offshore, Vidnhyan Basin in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and in western offshore.
"Two new basins i.e. Vindhyan and West Bengal have been upgraded to Category II during the current financial year. The appraisal plans are drawn to further upgrade them as producing basins," the statement said.
ONGC has notified total 11 discoveries so far in 2018-19. These include four made in the October-December quarter.
Gas was found in a well drilled in block GK-OSN-2009/1 in Kutch offhsore, while a new gas prospect was discovered in block VN-ONN-2009/3 in Vindhyan basin in Madhya Pradesh.
Another exploratory well stuck gas in Golaghat block in Assam, while oil flowed from a well drilled in western offshore basin.
During the April-December 2018 period, ONGC's net profit soared 61.6 per cent to Rs 22,671 crore on a revenue of Rs 82,896 crore. It had a net profit of Rs 19,945 crore on a revenue of Rs 85,004 crore in full 2017-18 fiscal year.
During first nine months of this fiscal, oil production dipped 4.7 per cent to 18.33 million tonne, while gas output was up 4 per cent at 19.25 billion cubic metres.