By Manish Gupta
Oil India (OIL) chairman and managing director Ranjit Rath on Thursday said the state-run oil company is holding discussions with London-based Tullow Oil for a potential stake in its oil block in Kenya. “As these are confidential and high stakes are involved, I can only say that some discussions are going on,” Rath told reporters a day after the company reported 75% rise in its net profit to Rs 6,810 crore in FY23.
He said both OIL and ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), are in talks with Tullow Oil. The companies are reportedly seeking a 50% stake in the oilfield.
Speaking on the FY23 performance, Rath said OIL registered a 5.5% growth in oil production at 3.18 million metric tonne (MMT) and 4.4% growth in gas production at 3.18 billion cubic metre (BCM). “We have set a target of 4 MMT in oil production and 5 BCM in gas production,” Rath said.
He added that the company will expand its drilling activity by 50% this fiscal. OIL plans to drill more than 70 exploration and development wells in the next couple of years, up from 45 wells in FY23 and 38 wells in FY22.
On OIL’s subsidiary Numaligarh Refinery, Rath said its expansion to 9 MTPA will complete by December 2024. The expansion of the refinery in Assam and the pipeline to Paradip port in Odisha is coming up at a cost of `28,000 crore.
Further, he said dividends from the Russian assets are stuck due to the western sanctions on Russia after it got into an armed conflict with Ukraine.
Along with the highest-ever net profit in FY23, the company recorded its highest-ever turnover of Rs 23,273 crore, a rise of 60% year-on-year. The earnings per share (EPS) shot up to Rs 62.80 per share as against Rs 35.85 per share in FY22.
“OIL board has declared the final dividend of Rs 5.50 per share with a total dividend of Rs 20 per share (face value Rs 10) for fiscal 2022-23,” the company said in a statement.
Along with NRL, the company recorded its highest-ever consolidated profit after tax of Rs 9,854 crore, up 46.66% yoy, on a consolidated turnover of Rs 41,039 crore for the fiscal, an increase of 36.75% yoy.