State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has become India's first company to hold a meeting of its Board of Directors at high sea when it top officials assembled at an oil installation in the Arabian Sea to approve second quarter earnings.
ONGC's new Chairman Shashi Shanker convened the company's 299th board meeting at a platform on Mumbai High field yesterday to approve the second quarter earnings among other things, officials said.
"The idea was to familiarise the independent directors, most of whom are new to the unique oil and gas exploration and production business, to offshore operations," an official said.
ONGC produces more than 80 per cent of its oil and gas from offshore fields with Mumbai High, off the coast of Maharashtra, being the biggest.
The company is betting big on quickly putting to production untapped discoveries as well as rejuvenating ageing fields offshore to raise crude oil production by 4 million tonnes and almost double natural gas output by 2021-22 to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi's target of cutting India's import dependence by 10 per cent.
The state-owned firm plans to raise crude oil production from 22.6 million tonnes in 2017-18 to 26.42 million tonnes in 2021-22. Gas production is planned to be raised from current 60 million standard cubic meters per day to 110 mmscmd.
The nation's biggest oil and gas producer has prepared the 'Roadmap for Import Reduction' two years after Modi set the target for reducing oil import dependence by 10 per cent, from 77 per cent in 2013-14.
India spent almost USD 1 trillion on crude imports from financial year 2005-06 to 2015-16.
The official said the government had this month named two new independent directors -- BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, and Ganga Murthy. Also, the government nominee director Rajiv Bansal, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, came on board only in August this year.
Most of the seven independent directors on ONGC board assumed charge just a few months back and the meeting in offshore was part of an exercise to familiarise them with operations, he said.
The board at its meeting yesterday approved appointment of Patra as director. It also reported its highest quarterly profit in more than two years, aided by an increase in oil prices and output.
Net profit in July-September rose 3.1 per cent to Rs 5,131 crore after output rose almost 1 per cent to 6.45 million tonnes and price realisation jumped 6.9 per cent to USD 51.22 per barrel.
The company said it has made four new oil and gas discoveries since July 27, taking the total to nine in the financial year that started April 1.
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