Rs 1,000 crore income of Indian oil companies stuck in Russia over Moscow’s dollar curbs – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Dividend income of about 8 billion roubles (about Rs 1,000 crore) from investments of over $5 billion made in two Russian oil fields by a consortium of Indian state-run oil companies remain stuck after Moscow restricted dollar repatriation due to excessive currency volatility following the conflict with Ukraine.
“The Indian consortium has been receiving dividend from the Vankor Cluster and Taas-Yuryakh fields. Except a small amount retained in Russia for local needs, we have been repatriating the dividend. But after the situation with Ukraine, about 8 billion roubles are stuck due to wide exchange rate fluctuation and restriction on dollar repatriation. It is not a big amount,” Harish Madhav, director (finance) of Oil India Ltd, one of the consortium partners, said.
The company’s net profit spiked 123% to Rs 3,887 crore in 2021-22 on the back of higher oil and gas prices.
The stuck amount is the combined dividend due to all the consortium partners. Dividend from Tass-Yuryakh is paid quarterly, while Vankor payout is made half-yearly. No dividend has been paid since the conflict began. Madhav did not see a problem in getting the money once the “(conflict) situation improved”.
Asked whether OIL, as a consortium partner, was talking to Western majors that have announced plans to exit Russia for acquiring their stake in projects, company chairman S C Mishra said there was nothing at the moment. “If there is talk, it has not reached us.”
The consortium of Oil India Ltd, IndianOil and Bharat Petro Resources, an arm of Bharat Petroleum, bought 23.9% in the Vankor Cluster and 29.9% in Taas-Yuryakh in 2016. Separately, ONGC Videsh Ltd bought 26% in Vankorneft Cluster consisting of Suzunskoye, Tagulskoye and Lodochnoye fields in western Siberia.
He said the Russian fields with Indian investments continued to function normally and there was no problem in operations. For good measure, he said that OIL’s investment plans have also not been impacted by the situation in eastern Europe and the company will spend Rs 4,000 crore on accelerated exploration.

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