Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s subsidiary, ONGC Videsh, which has under $100 million of dividend pending from its project in Russia, is not in a hurry to repatriate this amount and could even consider reinvesting it in the project.

The dividend amount is stuck pending the resolution of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. ONGC has a stake in the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia through ONGC Videsh routed through a subsidiary in Singapore. Last year, Russia declared Singapore an unfriendly nation, making repatriation of the dividend difficult.

Peak production

Production in Sakhalin-1 has returned to its peak daily level of 200,000 barrels, the company said in a presentation on Monday. After the exit of Exxon Mobil from the project last year, a new entity managed by a subsidiary of Rosneft was set up in its place. ONGC is in negotiations with the new operator to reclaim its stake in the project.

In a media interaction, ONGC Videsh’s managing director, Rajarshi Gupta, said the company expected to reclaim its 20 per cent stake in the project in the near future on fulfilment of certain terms and conditions. The overseas arm of ONGC also has a 26 per cent stake in another project in Russia, Vankorneft, which owns Vankor Field and the North Vankor licence.

ONGC also has to receive dividend from its project in the San Cristobal project in Venezuela, and according to Gupta, the company was in discussions with American authorities to get oil from Venezuela in lieu of the dividend. The company is in the process of examining the changes announced by Guyana in its terms for issuing licenses for oil exploration in the next round that is due in June. In Kenya, too, the company is looking at bidding opportunities.