Big boost to petroleum and fertilizer sector: Saudi Arabia, UAE reiterate investment plans in India

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New Delhi | October 16, 2018 12:26 AM

Earlier this year, ADNOC signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco to acquire 25% of its stake in India’s $44-billion West Coast refinery in which the latter has 50% stake.

Partnering growth: Saudi Arabia, UAE reiterate investment plans in India

Saudi Arabia and UAE on Monday reiterated that the West Asian countries were looking to participate in India’s petroleum downstream segment, including petrochemicals, refinery and retail. In addition, Saudi Arabia is also looking to make investments in the fertiliser sector.

Speaking at a two-day conference organised by IHS Markit here, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister and chairman of the country’s national oil firm Saudi Aramco, Khalid A Al-Falih, said while Sabic is looking to invest in India’s petrochemicals sector, Saudi Arabia’s mining and fertiliser firm Maaden is interested in investing in phosphate fertiliser sector in India and has signed a pact in this regard.

“Aramco wants to invest in consumer-facing businesses such as retail, petrochemicals, and expects robust downstream presence,” added Al-Falih.

UAE’s minister of state and group chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber also said UAE companies are keen to find partnerships to invest across India. “We are exploring a pipeline of projects along with our partners,” Jaber added.

The remarks come on a day when the ministers from the oil producing nations along with chiefs of global oil companies such as BP met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who urged them to bring their investible surplus to India and deepen energy ties.

Earlier this year, ADNOC signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco to acquire 25% of its stake in India’s $44-billion West Coast refinery in which the latter has 50% stake. The other 50% is held by Indian Oil, BPCL, and HPCL. Both the companies had then said they are looking to invest in the entire oil value chain, including fuel retailing, in India. The Aramco and ADNOC investment will be the highest for the country in the sector.

Both the West Asian leaders also said that they are committed to fulfill India’s oil demand. India is grappling with high fuel prices and a weakening rupee which is affecting the domestic retail prices as well. The Brent crude was trading above $81 per barrel while writing the report. India imports around 83% of its energy requirements.

In addition, extending its presence in the strategic oil reserves of India, ADNOC has shown interest in the Padur reserve and may replicate the model it has for Mangaluru. The first consignment of 2 million barrels of crude oil from ADNOC for the Mangaluru facility arrived earlier. The UAE firm will be filling one of the two caverns at the facility with crude oil which will be used by India during an emergency.

India’s Indian Oil in return participated in UAE’s upstream sector. Al Jaber said that UAE invites all Indian companies to participate in the country.

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