Mumbai: Shares prices of Aban Offshore Ltd, India’s largest oil rig firm, fell as much as 18.29% to Rs831.25 after a rig leased to Petroleos de Venezuela SA sank off the coast of Venezuela.
This is the first time an Indian company has lost a rig on sea. The semi-submersible Aban Pearl, owned by a subsidiary of Aban Offshore, was insured for $240 million (Rs1,082.4 crore).
The causes of the sinking were still unknown, Aban Offshore told the Bombay Stock Exchange. All 95 personnel on board were evacuated.
Ambit Capital Pvt. Ltd said in a Friday report that the rig, leased out at a day rate of $358,000 till October, was the highest earning asset of the company. The domestic brokerage downgraded the scrip from buy to sell.
Another local brokerage, Jaypee Capital Services Ltd noted that the loss of the rig, which contributed 11% to the Aban Offshore’s revenue, will severely impact its debt repayment obligations.
Analyst Jyotsna Sawdekar of Jaypee Capital on Friday estimated net debt of Aban Offshore at Rs11,384.2 crore by the fiscal year ending 31 March 2012.
Among Indian banks, State Bank of India, Axis Bank Ltd, Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd, and Bank of Baroda have exposure to Aban Offshore and were part of a syndicate to raise $1-1.5 billion for Aban in 2007.
Aban Offshore could not be contacted despite several attempts.
Anita Bhoir and Anup Roy contributed to this story.