ONGC net down 50% on fall in oil, gas prices, output

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on Friday reported halving of its December quarter net profit after it faced the double whammy of falling oil and gas prices and a drop in production.

Standalone net profit in October-December at Rs 4,152 crore was 49.8% lower than Rs 8,263 crore net profit in the same period of the previous fiscal, the company said.

The firm got 10% lower price at USD 59.73 for the crude oil it produced and 4% lower rate for natural gas at USD 3.23 per million British thermal unit.

Lower oil prices led to revenues dropping 14.4% to Rs 23,710 crore in the third quarter of current fiscal.

ONGC said oil production was 1% lower at 4.82 million tonnes in the October-December quarter, while gas output saw 8.4% reduction at 5.875 billion cubic metres.

It did not give reasons for the drop in production. Most of the fields it operates are old and are well past their prime. A natural decline in production has set in fields such as Mumbai High and Bassein in western offshore.

ONGC said it has made 10 discoveries of oil and gas in the current fiscal. These include six new prospects and four extensions of previous finds.

The discoveries include oil and gas finds in Mumbai High and a gas discovery in KG Onland block.

For April-December, the company reported a 28% drop in net profit to Rs 16,319 crore and a near 10% fall in revenues to Rs 82,896 crore.

Consolidated profit, after including earnings of listed subsidiaries such as Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, was 43.7% lower at Rs 5,384 crore in October-December and 35% lower at Rs 17,913 crore in April-December 2019.

Revenues were 6.7% lower at Rs 109,443 crore in the third quarter and 6% lower at Rs 3,20,512 crore in the first nine months of current fiscal.

Both HPCL and MRPL are listed and their earnings are reported separately.