ONGC Q4 net profit up 44%

New Delhi :  State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) today reported a 44 per cent jump in its fourth quarter as foreign exchange gains and lesser write off on drilling of unsuccessful wells made up for a steep rise in subsidy outgo.

Net profit in January-March 2014 rose to Rs 4,889 crore from Rs 3,387 crore a year ago, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf told reporters here.

The profit rose as the company gained Rs 3,098 crore from rupee depreciating against US dollar. Also, it wrote off Rs 1,906 crore towards unsuccessful wells drilled in the quarter as compared to Rs 4,127 crore write off for dry wells in Q4 of 2012-13 fiscal.

The firm paid Rs 16,202 crore towards subsidy in the fourth quarter as compared to Rs 12,312 crore in the previous year, he said. Upstream oil producers like ONGC make up for a part of losses retailers incurred on sale of diesel and cooking fuel at government-controlled rates.

The subsidy payout is in the form of discount on crude oil sold to IOC, BPCL and HPCL.           Sarraf said the company realised an all-time low price of USD 32.78 per barrel after paying subsidy. ONGC’s gross billing was USD 106.65 per barrel but had to give a discount of USD 73.87.

In Q4 of previous fiscal, it had realised USD 40.97.             In the full 2013-14 fiscal, ONGC reported a 5.6 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 22,095 crore. “We paid a record subsidy of Rs 56,384 crore in the fiscal. But for the subsidy payout, out profits should have been higher by Rs 31,524 crore,” he said.    ONGC crude output was marginally lower at 22.25 million tons in FY14 as compared to 22.56 million tons in the previous year. Gas production also came down to 23.28 billion cubic meters from 23.55 bcm.

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