India’s Rs 3 lakh crore Ratnagiri refinery gets Abu Dhabi push as Adnoc eyes stake after Saudi Aramco

By: | Updated: May 14, 2018 1:14 PM

India’s Rs 3 lakh crore Ratnagiri refinery project gets a boost as after Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will pick up stake in the planned $44-billion refinery-cum-petrochemical project in Maharashtra.

India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Reuters that there was a consensus between Saudi Aramco, ADNOC and Indian companies to form a joint venture for India’s Ratnagiri oil refinery.

India’s Rs 3 lakh crore Ratnagiri refinery project gets a boost as after Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will pick up stake in the planned $44-billion refinery-cum-petrochemical project in Maharashtra. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), is considering joining Saudi Aramco in a potential investment in the Ratnagiri refinery project in India, Chief Executive Officer Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc said in an interview to Bloomberg Television in Abu Dhabi. The development comes even as Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, had last month signed an agreement to take up 50 per cent stake in the Ratnagiri refinery project.

The potential stake buy comes amid the firm’s plans to invest $45 billion over the next five years to expand its refining and petrochemicals operations. Striving to become a global player in the downstream sector, the state oil giant wants to double its refining capacity and triple petrochemicals output potential by 2025 as it looks to capture new growth markets, Reuters reported Chief Executive Sultan Al Jaber as saying.

Interestingly, India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on a visit to the UAE, told Reuters that there was a consensus between Saudi Aramco, ADNOC and Indian companies to form a joint venture for India’s Ratnagiri oil refinery.

According to the currently available details, Aramco is required to supply half of the crude oil required for processing at the refinery that will be commissioned by 2025. Further, state-owned refiners Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) will own the remaining 50 per cent stake, according to a PTI report.

In line with the plans of other major producers, Aramco and ADNOC are looking to lock in customers in the world’s third-largest oil consumer through the investment. Kuwait too is looking to invest in projects in return for getting an assured offtake of their crude oil, said the PTI report.

Notably, Saudi Arabia was the biggest oil supplier to India till 2016-17, but slipped behind Iraq last fiscal. In 2016-17,Saudi Arabia had supplied 39.5 million tonnes of crude oil to India in ahead of 37.5 million tonnes by Iraq. But, in the first 11 months of 2017-18 fiscal, Saudi supplies at 33.9 million tonnes, lagged behind Iraqi exports of 42.4 million tonnes to India, PTI report noted.

Saudi Aramco is looking to bet on fuel retailing in India. Currently, India has a refining capacity of 232.066 million tonnes, which exceeded the demand of 194.2 million tonnes in 2016-17 fiscal.  This demand is estimated to reach 458 million tonnes by 2040, according to a recent report  by International Energy Agency (IEA). IOC has 11 refineries with a total capacity of 81.2 MT, while BPCL has four refineries with a total capacity of 33.4 MT. HPCL has three refineries with a total capacity of 24.8 MT, said a PTI report.

(With inputs from PTI)

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