New Delhi: Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd on Saturday posted a 48 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 6,077.70 crore during the April-June quarter and said it is likely to sign a MoU with the Japan's Mitsui for a LNG project by this month.

"We are in the process of signing a MoU with Mitsui, which has been approved by the Board in the last meeting. Hopefully, by this month we will sign the same," ONGC Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva told reporters after the announcement of first quarter results.

"This covers the entire value chain of LNG. After that, we will discuss the possibility of doing more work," he added.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) revenue increased to Rs 21,216.24 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2012 from Rs 17,128.89 crore for the same period a year ago.

Commenting on the results, Vasudeva said that the company has been able to post a healthy profit on the back of price variation and rupee depreciation.

ONGC has set aside Rs 33,063 crore as the capex for this year, of which it has already spent around Rs 5,784 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal on exploration activities, ONGC Director (Finance) A K Banerjee said.

Vasudeva said the company is going to retender CBM (Coal-Bed Methane) blocks and this time it will be internationally competitive bidding.

"We will be coming out with tenders shortly," he said. ONGC holds four coal-bed methane blocks —- Bokaro, Karanpura (North Karanpura and South Karanpura) and Jharia blocks in Jharkhand and Raniganj block in West Bengal.

On the proposed initial public offering (IPO) of ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the chairman said the proposal has been discussed at the board.

"We are studying these observations. Timing of the listing is also one of the considerations. So, with all that we will go to the board and then will take a decision accordingly," Vasudeva said.

On the overseas production of ONGC, Vasudeva said it remains normal except for in Syria and Sudan.

"Last year, our production was severely affected in these two countries, to the tune of 1.85 million tonnes which was the shortfall in production because of these two countries," he said.

"There have been some positive developments as regard to Sudan and South Sudan. We will be starting our production from Sudan shortly. But North Sudan production is limping back to normalcy. But it is difficult to say what is going to happen in about Syria as long EU sanctions continue," he added.

On the issue of subsidy, Vasudeva said it is difficult to quantify the subsidy burden at this stage saying that "the first quarter subsidy burdens are always very tentative. It is adhoc. It is the fourth quarter when the adjustment is done."

He, however, said the way the diesel price formula is being discussed, the subsidy burden can come down. However, the dollar fluctuation can also tilt the subsidy balance, he added.

On ONGC's fund raising plans, Vasudeva said the funds can be generated based on requirements.

"We have a very strong balance sheet and we are debt-free company. So, if we need to raise funds from the market, this can be done in no time," the ONGC CMD said.

According to Vasudeva, ONGC's production last fiscal stood at about 26.92 million tonnes both from domestic production and joint ventures. This year, a target of 27.54 million tonnes production has been set.

"Similarly, we produced about 25.5 bcm (billion cubic metres) of gas last year. This year the target is 25.73 bcm," he said.


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