Centre lets BPCL, HPCL to charter ships for oil trade

New Delhi, Mar 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
The government has allowed Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum to charter ships directly for oil transportation instead of going through the governments ship chartering agency Transchart.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday allowed BPCL and HPCL to independently charter ships for import and export of crude oil and petroleum products, a move which will make their costs competitive with private firms who have no restrictions, official sources said. The shipping ministry was against the proposal. The petroleum ministry has been pitching for direct ship chartering by the oil PSUs as it will provide a level playing field with private sector oil companies who had complete charge of their logistics arrangements. BPCL and HPCL will now set up chartering cells and may continue to seek advice of Transchart.