Russia’s top oil producer, Rosneft, said on Monday its net income and oil production rose in the first quarter as it increased output and capitalized on favorable foreign currency rates, Reuters reports.
The shares of the Kremlin-controlled company were up 1.9% to 421.9 roubles apiece after the results, outperforming the wider Russian stock market.
Rosneft, led by Igor Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is the world’s largest listed oil producer by output. It has increased its global reach in recent years, making forays into markets such as India and Egypt. British oil major BP has a 19.75% stake in Rosneft.
The company also said Venezuela had continued cutting its debt to Rosneft and that its dealings with the Latin American country had not breached U.S. sanctions. Rosneft has been working in Venezuela with state-run energy firm PDVSA, which is the subject of U.S. sanctions.
The Russian firm said on Monday PDVSA had been paying its debt on schedule and the debt fell to $1.8 billion as of the end of the first quarter from $2.3 billion three months earlier.
Didier Casimiro, a Rosneft vice president, also said supplies of Venezuelan oil to its refinery in India were not in violation of U.S. sanctions.
“The usage of Venezuela’s oil, which we are supplying to refineries in India, was allowed as it comes from pre-payed contracts,” he said. PDVSA is paying debt back to Rosneft via oil supplies.
Rosneft’s operations in Venezuela have come to public attention amid a power struggle between the Latin American country’s National Assembly and pro-Moscow President Nicolas Maduro.
Rosneft’s January-March net income increased by 62% year-on-year in the first three months of 2019 to 131 billion rubles ($2 billion), while oil output was up by almost 4 percent to 4.74 million barrels per day.
First-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at 548 billion rubles ($8.4 billion), while January-March free cash flow was 197 billion rubles ($3 billion).