Companies

Global oil giants eye India's retail fuel market

Reuters NEW DELHI | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on June 03, 2016

Fuel marketing in India has turned profitable after the government ended decades-old control over retail prices.

Saudi Aramco, BP keen to set up shop here, says Oil Minister

Global oil majors including Saudi Aramco and Total are keen to enter the retail fuel market in India, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday.

India could be a lucrative prize for the world's oil majors as they seek outlets for their gasoline and diesel. India posted the fastest oil demand growth in the world in the first quarter of 2016 and is replacing China as the driver of growth globally, the International Energy Agency said in its latest report.

“Saudi Aramco is eager to enter the Indian market, we are finding ways to help them,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in Hindi in a live telecast on a government web site.

India, the world's fourth-biggest oil consumer, recently offered Saudi Aramco a stake in refineries and petrochemical projects.

Saudi Aramco wants to expand globally and is looking at potential joint ventures in several countries, including Indonesia, India, the United States, Vietnam and China, chief executive Amin Nasser told Reuters in an interview in May.

Plans to expand

Fuel marketing in India has turned profitable after the government ended decades-old control over retail prices.

Pradhan said local private oil refiners Reliance Industries and Essar Oil have started opening their mothballed fuel outlets and are adding new ones to expand business.

French major Total and European major Royal Dutch Shell that have a limited presence in India are also keen to strengthen their presence, Pradhan said.

“Shell officials recently met me and informed about their plan to expand the retail network in a big way in south India,” he said.

The ministry has agreed to grant a licence to BP to market jet fuel in India. “There is a possibility they (BP) may expand into the Indian retail sector,” he said in Hindi.

Essar Oil is still working to complete a deal to sell a 49 per cent stake in its 400,000 barrel per day Vadinar refinery in Gujarat to Russian giant Rosneft.

“Rosneft, rich with oil and gas, wants to join Indian markets,” Pradhan said.

Published on June 03, 2016
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