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Cairn pays higher advance tax in Q2, urges government to allow crude oil sale to RIL SEZ
September, 18th 2012

CairnBSE -1.67 % India has paid Rs 586 crore advance tax for the second quarter, a three-fold jump compared to the preceding quarter because of higher crude oil output, foreign exchange gains and better realization, government and company officials said.

Cairn paid higher advance tax in anticipation of better Q2 results, company officials said requesting anonymity. The company had paid Rs 195 crore advance tax in the previous quarter before posting a net profit of Rs 3,826 crore. In the second quarter of previous fiscal year, Cairn had posted a net profit of Rs 2,118 crore and had paid an advance tax of Rs 188 crore.

The company is producing average 175,000 barrels of crude oil daily from its Rajasthan block compared to a daily average of 167,146 barrels in the first quarter, officials said.

Cairn spokesman declined comments on company's finances in advance but confirmed that the Rajasthan block was producing oil at 175,000 barrels per day. "In less than three years of production the Rajasthan block has crossed the cumulative production milestone of 100 million barrels. This has helped us reduce oil imports by $9 billion and has contributed $3 billion to the national exchequer," he said.

Cairn expects production from Rajasthan fields to go up significantly in the near future but state oil firms are not in a position to lift the entire output. In a recent letter to the oil ministry, Cairn India Vice Chairman-Corporate Advisory Board KV Rajan urged the government to allow crude oil supply to Reliance Industries-operated Jamnagar refinery, which is in the special economic zone (SEZ), officials said. India prohibits export of crude oil. As supplies to SEZ refineries are regarded as deemed exports, Cairn would require an exemption, government officials said.

"Due to the quality characteristics of Rajasthan crude oil, PSU (public sector undertaking) buyers (IOC Panipat and Koyali) are able to offtake only a part of the production, resulting in high dependence on private refineries for ensuring continuous production," Rajan said in the letter.

Cairn India had reported 40% jump in its net profit in the first quarter of current financial year because of higher output and currency gains. The company's net profit in the first quarter was Rs 3,826 crore compared to Rs 2,727 crore in the same period previous year.

It had traded its crude oil at an average exchange rate of Rs 54.10 for a dollar in the quarter compared to Rs 44.72 in the same quarter previous year.

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