Battling blowout, OIL incurs loss of ₹248.61 crore


Natural gas production during first quarter of 2020-21 fiscal higher than last quarter of 2019-20 fiscal, says exploration major.

Exploration major Oil India Limited (OIL), battling a blowout and fire at one of its natural gas wells in eastern Assam’s Baghjan for 88 days now, has incurred a loss of ₹248.61 crore during the first quarter of the 2020-21 fiscal.

The balance-sheet was declared on August 22, a day after the public sector undertaking held its 514th board meeting.

OIL’s turnover from the sale of crude oil, natural gas and other petroleum products during the first quarter of the current fiscal was ₹1,743.92 crore. The turnover during the same period in 2019-20 was ₹3,373.36 crore.

Also read: Baghjan blowout: panel faults OIL on safety

“We posted a loss of ₹248.61 crore while our profit during the first quarter of the last fiscal was ₹624.80 crore,” a spokesperson said from OIL’s headquarters at Duliajan in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district.

The loss was attributed to substantially lower crude oil price realisation, global spread of COVID-19 and collapse in understanding between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia on continued production cuts.

“Average crude oil price realisation was lower at US$ 30.43 per barrel of oil in the first quarter of the current fiscal compared to US$ 52.18 per barrel during the last quarter of the 2019-21 fiscal,” the spokesperson said.

Natural gas price realisation from April-June during the current fiscal also reduced to US$ 2.39 per metric million British thermal unit from US$ 3.23 per metric million British thermal unit during the previous quarter of January-March.

OIL’s crude oil production during the first quarter of the current fiscal was 0.752 million metric tonne, which was marginally lower than 0.758 million metric tonne during the previous quarter. But natural gas production increased to 682 million metric standard cubic metres from 645 million metric standard cubic metres during the corresponding periods.

The blowout at Well Number 5 in Baghjan happened on May 27, almost midway during the first quarter of the current fiscal. The well burst into flames on June 9.

 

The well was capped on August 17 after two failed attempts, but efforts to ‘kill’ the well by injecting a viscous cement mud at high pressure failed. OIL is now contemplating drilling beside the blowout-hit well to kill it from beneath the surface.

OIL officials said protests and blockades by affected locals in and around the Baghjan area since May 27 have led to the loss of production of more than 32,000 metric tonnes of crude oil and 74.43 million metric standard cubic metres of natural gas.

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