ONGC to foray into uranium mining

July 28th, 2008 - 9:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) India’s flagship upstream petroleum company and Fortune 500 firm, the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC), has announced a foray into uranium mining, it said Monday. In a regulatory statement, ONGC also said its net profit for the first quarter this fiscal increases 44 percent.

The statement said ONGC’s board has approved a memorandum of understanding with the Uranium Corp of India Ltd (UCIL), which has monopoly rights to mine uranium in the country.

ONGC’s plan comes after the Indian government survived a vote for confidence in parliament to go ahead with the India-US nuclear deal.

Once the deal goes through the proper process, with approvals from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and finally the US Congress, several nuclear plants are expected to be set up, increasing India’s demand for uranium.

The statement said ONGC Energy Centre (OEC) is “passively” examining prospects by studying the logs of existing wells.

“There would be an opportunity to synergize the respective strengths of both ONGC and UCIL in pursuing opportunities for exploration and exploitation of uranium in India and abroad,” it said.

Meanwhile, as per the financial results announced Monday, ONGC’s turnover has increased 47 percent from Rs.137.2 billion in the first quarter of 2007 to Rs.201.2 billion in the quarter ending June 30 2008.

Net profit has risen to Rs.66.3 billion, compared Rs.46.11 billion for the same period last fiscal- an increase of 44 percent.

While turnover has increased, a subsidy burden of Rs.98.11 billion has been the highest in the first quarter this year, a significant rise compared to the burden of Rs.36.4 billion in the corresponding period last year.

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