Saudi Aramco signs $44 bln deal for Indian refinery complex
NEW DELHI - Agence France-Presse
The refinery at Ratnagiri on the west coast will be handle up to 1.2 million barrels of oil a day, the Saudi company said in a statement after signing a memorandum of understanding with Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation.
The Ratnagiri complex “will rank among the largest world refining and petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand. The project cost is estimated at around $44 billion.”
The Indian accord is just the latest in a string of deals -- with French, U.S. and Malaysia companies -- announced by Aramco as it seeks to secure buyers for its oil.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s second biggest oil producer behind Russia, according to the International Energy Agency, while Aramco is the biggest company putting oil on the world market currently awash with product.
“Investing in India is a key part of our company’s global downstream strategy, and another milestone in our growing relationship with India,” said Saudi Aramco president Amin Nasser.
“The signing marks a significant development in India’s oil and gas sector, enabling a strategic joint venture and investment partnership that will serve India’s fast-growing demand for transportation fuels and chemical products.
“Participating in this mega project will allow Saudi Aramco to go beyond our crude oil supplier role to a fully integrated position that may help usher in other areas of collaboration, such as refining, marketing, and petrochemicals for India’s future energy demands,” said Nasser.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have set up a joint venture for the deal with Aramco, Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.
Aramco said it may “seek to include a strategic partner to co-invest in the mega refinery”.Aramco and French firm Total this week announced a $5 billion deal to build a refinery at Jubail in Saudi Arabia.
Last month the Saudi firm awarded more than $8 billion worth of contracts to U.S. firms to boost its U.S. refinery operations.
Aramco has also pledged billions of dollars for deals in Malaysia and Indonesia in the past year.