R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, May 16 - The Oil India Limited (OIL) has acquired stakes in two producing oilfields in Russia at a cost of 900 million dollars and the response received by the company from the investors in the road shows conducted in three countries was much better than expected.Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the OIL, Utpal Bora said that the stakes acquired by the OIL in the two producing oilfields of Russia are eight and ten percent respectively. He said that the OIL would get 1.67 million metric tonnes of crude from the fields per year, which would improve the financial health of the company considerably.
Bora said that of the 900 million Dollars spent by the OIL to acquire the stakes in the oilfields of Russia, there was a need for raising 500 million dollars and that is why road shows were carried out in London, Hong Kong and Singapore to attract investors. He said that the response from the investors was overwhelming as the OIL got offers of 2.7 billion dollar investments. “But we decided to accept investments of 500 million dollars and we managed to get it at very competitive interest rate.” He also pointed out that the investment offers proved that the investors are confident of the OIL’s ability to deliver the goods.
Bora asserted that the overall financial health of the OIL is quite comfortable, but at the same time, the company has taken the services of a prominent consultant of the world to offer services for cost cutting in view of low oil price at present. The OIL suffered some problems when the crude price in the international market came down drastically. But the situation has now improved considerably and the crude prices are now hovering between 45 to 51 dollars a barrel. He said that the OIL would be very comfortable if the crude price in the international market remains between 50 to 60 dollars a barrel.
The CMD revealed that the OIL has initiated steps for increasing the capacity of its pipeline from Duliajan to Barauni. He pointed out that as it was becoming increasing difficult to meet the demands of the State’s refineries with the crude produced in the State, a mechanism for reverse pumping of oil from Barauni to Bongaigaon was used and now steps have been initiated for reverse pumping through the pipeline from Bongaigaon to Guwahati and in the next phase, the same facility would be extended to Numaligarh.
On the CSR activities of the OIL, Bora said that though a budget is earmarked every year for the purpose, the actual cost always exceeds the budget provisions.
Giving a brief account of the new schemes, Bora said that an amount of Rs 25 crore has been earmarked for the beautification of Kamakhya, while, the OIL has agreed to take up a river front beautification scheme in Dibrugarh in collaboration with the GAIL and IOC. The OIL has also taken up Tinsukia town beautification scheme, while, one more “super 30” coaching centre would be established in Nagaon in addition to the existing five. The capacity of the Nurse training school in Duliajan will be increased from 30 to 100, while, the proposed Skill Development Institute will start functioning shortly. The driving training institute to be set up in collaboration with Maruti is also likely to start functioning soon as the State Government has allotted land for it at Amingaon.