Oil India Ltd (OIL), on Monday, reported a 21 per cent drop in net profit at Rs.444.81 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2012, against Rs.1,013.98 crore in the year-ago period. The net profit dipped after the government asked upstream firms Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and OIL to make good 39.7 per cent of the Rs.1,38,541 crore revenue that fuel retailers lost on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at government controlled rates in 2011-12. Their share was 36.75 per cent in the previous year.

Sales dipped to Rs.1,802.12 crore from Rs.2008.28 crore.

The company said it is in talks to buy 51 per cent in billionaire Mukesh Ambani's privately owned firm Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd (RGTIL).

“We have expressed interest for buying 51 per cent stake in RGTIL,” OIL Director (Finance) T. K. Ananth Kumar told reporters here. OIL is one of the 11 firms — five Indian and six foreign — that have expressed interest to buy stake in RGTIL. GAIL (India) and NYSE-listed energy major Enbridge are among the firms interested in buying stake. “We have submitted a separate EoI,” he said.

Stake buy

Oil India is looking to buy stakes in U.S. gas driller Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s Mississippi Lime basin and ConocoPhillips' oil sand assets in Canada, Mr. Kumar said.

The cash-rich explorer, whose assets in India's north-east account for its entire crude oil production and the bulk of gas production, has been aggressively scouting to bolster its overseas assets portfolio.

Oil India has earmarked Rs.6,000-7,000 crore ($1.3 billion) for overseas acquisition, Mr. Kumar told reporters after announcing the company's quarterly results. He said the company had identified U.S., Canada, Australia and parts of Africa for acquisitions and hoped to seal a deal in the current year. — PTI, Reuters

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