Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s second quarter profit rose 61% riding on a surge in oil prices and higher gas production.
The biggest Indian oil and gas producer’s profit rose to Rs82.6bn ($1.1bn) in the quarter ended September from Rs51.3bn a year ago, according to an exchange filing yesterday.
That beat the Rs72.2bn average estimate from 15 analysts polled by Bloomberg.
Sales increased 48% to Rs279.9bn.
The company’s coffers were drained last year after it paid a record dividend and was ordered to buy India’s stake in a refiner.
The group needs to cut debt as it targets spending of Rs860bn to boost output.
It also has to deal with policy uncertainties over fuel subsidies in India that affected a planned share sale. Rising oil prices offset a drop in production.
The price of Brent crude, the benchmark for half the world’s oil including India’s, averaged about $76 a barrel in September quarter, 46% more than a year ago.
A weaker rupee also helped the company as oil prices are marked in dollars but it reports earnings in the Indian currency.
The rupee averaged about 70.10 for a dollar in the quarter, 9% lower than a year ago.
Also, India increased the price of domestically produced gas to $3.06 per million British thermal units for six months starting April 1, about 23% higher than a year ago.
The country’s top explorer earned an average $73.07 a barrel in the quarter, about 48% more than a year ago.
ONGC’s total oil output fell 5.8% to 6.08mn tonnes, while gas production increased 1.8% to 6.368bn cubic meters.
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