Oil & Gas

01 Mar 2022

Russian Banks' Exclusion from SWIFT to Hurt Indian Oil Companies

01 Mar 2022  by   
Sanctions and exclusion of Russian lenders from the SWIFT system, the most important international payment network, will hurt Indian state-run firms' ability to repatriate dividends from Russian oilfields and block possibilities of investments in the massive Vostok project, people familiar with the matter said. Rouble's sharp depreciation will also reduce dividends in dollar terms for Indian firms, they said.


ONGC, Oil India, Indian Oil, and BPCL have investments in multiple Russian oil and gas fields, with some fields permitting stakeholders to sell their share of equity oil while others offering just the dividend. "Details on SWIFT exclusion are still emerging but if banking channels are blocked, repatriating dividends from Russia could be difficult," said Subhash Kumar, who retired as chairman of ONGC in December.

Vankor, one of the largest oilfields in Russia, offers dividends to investors, and not equity oil. ONGC, Oil India, Indian Oil, and BPCL collectively hold 49.9% participating interest in Vankor. These companies didn't respond to ET's request for comment.

In fields such as Sakhalin-1 in East Siberia where ONGC is an investor, equity oil is available to stakeholders. Selling equity oil will be easier for ONGC than repatriating dividends as oil and gas sales haven't been directly targeted by sanctions yet, industry executives said.


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