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Prize Petroleum-Aban consortium lands ONGC deal

Our Bureau

Chennai , April 29

A CONSORTIUM of Prize Petroleum Company Ltd and Aban Loyd Chiles Offshore Ltd has secured a service contract from ONGC to develop three marginal fields at Hirapur, Khambel and West Becharji in Gujarat.

According to an Aban Loyd press release, Aban, along with Prize Petroleum, has evaluated geo-scientific data and prepared an initial development plan for the three fields.

When contacted, Aban officials told Business Line that the Aban Loyd and Prize Petroleum will jointly bid for other such drilling projects.

The three fields on contract from ONGC are onshore and Aban will look at how it will get rigs to carry out the drilling. Aban, at present, has rigs for offshore drilling. The three wells require drilling up to 2,500 m, according to the officials.

Prize Petroleum has been promoted by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, ICICI Ventures Capital Ltd and HDFC Ltd.

"The service contract with ONGC will provide Aban valuable opportunities to gain experience as an exploration and production company in operating oil fields," the release said. Prize Petroleum would be responsible for detailed geological, geo-physical reservoir management and monitoring production from the marginal fields.

Aban officials were not prepared to disclose how much revenue the company would get out of the contract with ONGC.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2004 Aban Loyd reported a net profit of Rs 9.91 crore on total income of Rs 70.59 crore against a net profit of Rs 4.17 crore on total income of Rs 64.69 crore for the same period last year. Interest charges were down to Rs 4.87 crore for the quarter compared with Rs 8.88 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

Aban had a net profit of Rs 47.10 crore on total income of Rs 293.01 crore for the year ended March 31, 2004 against a net profit of Rs 9.07 crore on income of Rs 251.56 crore for the previous year. Interest charges were down to Rs 25.74 crore from Rs 36.84 crore in the previous year.

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