Saudi Aramco, Total to tap India’s fuel retail space
The Dollar Business Bureau
International oil firms like Saudi Aramco, Total SA and BP plc are planning to tap India’s retail fuel market, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday. This clearly reflects the increasing role of the country in the crude landscape of the world, he said.
The fuel market of world's fastest growing economy can be a lucrative prize for the global oil majors seeking retail outlets for diesel and gasoline. The country has registered the fastest growth in oil demand across the world during the first quarter of CY 2016. India is replacing China as the driver of global growth, as per the International Energy Agency’s latest report.
Saudi Aramco wants to enter the Indian market and the Indian Government is finding ways to support them, Pradhan revealed in a government website. India has recently presented a stake in the country’s refineries and petrochemical projects to this Saudi Arabian oil company.
According to Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser, the company plans to expand its global presence. It is looking for joint ventures in various countries that include India, Indonesia, the US, Vietnam and China. After the Indian government had removed control on retail fuel prices, marketing of diesel and gasoline has become a profitable business.
Private oil refiners of the country such as Reliance Industries and Essar Oil have started reopening their suspended fuel stations and also expanding their business by starting new ones. French oil firm Total SA and UK’s Royal Dutch Shell plc are also showing interest to speed up their fuel retailing business through expansion across the country, the Oil Minister said.
Shell officials have recently met the minister to inform their aggressive expansion plan of their retail network in southern part of India. The Oil Ministry has approved to grant licence to BP to market jet fuel in the country. BP is likely to expand into the retail fuel sector of India, he said.
Russian integrated oil firm Rosneft also plans to enter Indian retail fuel market. Currently, Essar Oil is working on a deal to sell 49% stake in its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat having a capacity of 400,000 barrel per day, Pradhan informed.