The news source reported Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) chairman, R S Sharma, as saying that the total cost of selling crude oil at subsidized prices to state-owned refiners in 2008, is expected to be around INR200 billion, an increase, when compared to INR170 billion for 2007.

Rising oil prices have put pressure on ONGC’s profitability and company shares have a registered a 25% decline in value in 2008, according to the news source.

ONGC’s chairman noted that retail fuel prices have only increased by 3% to 4.6% in India, while global crude oil prices are hovering around $128 per barrel in May 2008.