State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has started selling lubricants in Myanmar as part of broader plans of Indian retailers to play a bigger role in the south-east Asian nation’s oil and gas sector. “Having achieved the number one position in the domestic market, HP Lubricants sought to prove itself in foreign shore by venturing into Myanmar,” the company said in a statement. HPCL is the first Indian oil company to have started marketing lubes in Myanmar and has chosen commercial hubs of Yangon and Mandalay. India is pushing for supplying fuel to Myanmar to meet rising demand. Following the lifting of sanctions, Myanmar is looking at foreign companies to cater to fuel and infrastructure requirements arising out of a dramatic surge in consumption. Its three ageing state-owned refineries with a combined capacity of around 2.5 million tonnes are running substantially below capacity and are able to meet only a part of the fuel requirement.
Indian oil companies see an opportunity in this and have been exploring supply of petroleum products, LPG, wax and petrochemicals. While Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is studying options of fuel retailing in Myanmar, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd’s (BPCL) Numaligarh refinery is keen to supply diesel to the country. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in late February visited Myanmar to explore opportunities there to supply refined oil products as well as highlight interest of Indian upstream companies to take part in the forthcoming bidding in Myanmar’s oil and gas blocks.