Imperial Energy expects cash profit in 2010

Imperial Energy, a subsidiary of ONGC Videsh, in Tomsk, Siberia (Russia), expects to post a maiden cash profit next fiscal as it ramps up production.

Imperial Energy, the Russia- focused oil firm that OVL, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) acquired last year, had registered cash losses of $40 million in calendar year 2007 and $100 million in 2008.

"We hope to cut cash losses to $15-20 million in 2009 and will see cash profits in 2010," a company official said.

"When we took over, oil production had fallen to below 6,000 barrels per day. We were able to restore it to about 8,200 bpd by May and have now ramped it up to 11,200 bpd," he said. "We are targeting 16,000 bpd by the year-end and 25,000 bpd by end of 2010," he added.

Meanwhile, petroleum minister Murli Deora, accompanied by officials of the petroleum ministry and ONGC officials visited the offices of Imperial Energy in Tomsk, Siberia, on 7 September.

The minister met senior executives of Imperial Energy and reviewed the status of reserves and assets of the company, current performance and future plans. While expressing satisfaction over the performance and the efforts being made by the executives to achieve the targets, he encouraged them to work more proactively to increase the asset base by adding reserves through exploration work, increase production and control expenses. He also advised OVL to consider investment in more opportunities in this area, by participating in the licensing rounds and keep looking out for other similar companies, which may be available for takeover.

The governor of Tomsk invited ONGC to participate in the next licensing rounds and various other programmes of the government of Tomsk in the areas of technical education, import of new technology, as well as programmes for community development. He also sought India's cooperation in development of the iron ore deposits of Tomsk region.