Low output hurts ONGC

New Delhi, Feb. 11: State-run ONGC's net profit fell 17.5 per cent to Rs 5,563 crore during the October-December quarter of the current fiscal from Rs 6,741 crore a year ago on account of a decline in crude output.

ONGC chairman and managing director Sudhir Vasudeva said profit was higher in the third quarter of last fiscal because of a one-time exceptional income of Rs 3,142 crore on account of the reimbursements by Cairn India for paying royalty on Cairn's Rajasthan block.

The benefit of the decision came for the full year in that quarter and if this exceptional item was excluded, the third-quarter profit in the current fiscal would have actually been higher by Rs 736 crore.

ONGC's share in fuel subsidy was marginally lower at Rs 12,433 crore against Rs 12,536 crore in the third quarter of the previous fiscal.

Upstream firms such as ONGC bear a portion of the losses retailers incur on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at government-controlled rates. They do so by selling crude oil at discount to the refiners.

Vasudeva said the net profit would have been higher by Rs 7,260 crore if it did not pay the subsidy bill.

ONGC produced 6.05 million tonnes of crude oil in the third quarter, 3.02 per cent lower than 6.244 million tonnes a year ago.

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