Companies

Deal will have profound impact on India's energy future: Mukesh Ambani

Vidya Ram London | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 22, 2011

Reliance Industries chairman Mr Mukesh Ambani, in Mumbai.

Reliance Industries Ltd had sought a single "global partner" to pursue its exploration and production in India, Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, said, as the firm announced a partnership with British oil major BP worth up to $20 billion.

Reliance Industries Ltd had sought a single “global partner” to pursue its exploration and production in India, Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, said, as the firm announced a partnership with British oil major BP worth up to $20 billion.

The deal is being billed as the largest single FDI deal in Indian history. “We wanted a strong partner for the long term,” said Mr Ambani, as the two firms unveiled their partnership, which involves giving BP a 30 per cent stake in each of 23 oil and gas blocks, mostly off the east coast, and a joint venture on the sourcing and marketing of gas.

“BP are the best finder of offshore hydro-carbons in the world,” he said. The deal, which will involve an initial payment of $7.2 billion, was a “major milestone” in the history of RIL, and would have a “profound impact” on India's energy future, he said.

While neither firm would comment on whether any exclusivity contract had been signed, both reiterated that setting aside existing deals, they would be working together in the future. “Our intention is for this to be a multi decade partnership,” said Mr Ambani. Talks between the two companies began in late 2007, he said.

Mr Bob Dudley, Chief Executive of BP, said that having an agreement across the 23 blocks would ensure that there was “no misalignment” in terms of the interests of the two firms. The firm has no current plans to take a stake in RIL. “We are very happy with our partnership and that is the focus of our efforts,” he said.

BP is offloading a total of $22 billion of assets to help pay for the Gulf of Mexico clean-up. While it sold its assets in Pakistan last year, and says it remains firmly committed to the US, the firm has said it wants to concentrate on developing its business in growth markets. “The deal plays to our strengths,” said Mr Dudley.

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Published on February 22, 2011
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