22:58 GMT +325 April 2018
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    Khaled al Otaiby, an official of the Saudi oil company Aramco watches progress at a rig at the al-Howta oil field.

    India, Saudi Aramco Shake Hands for $44Bln Mega Refinery-Petrochem Project

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    India’s west coast is set to become home for the world’s largest oil and petrochemical refinery, as Saudi Aramco and a consortium of Indian state refiners have joined hands to execute a $44 billion project.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Saudi Aramco and Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd — a consortium of Indian state refiners — have signed an initial agreement to build the world's largest refining and petrochemicals project in India. Saudi Aramco says it may also seek to include a strategic partner to co-invest in the mega refinery. 

    "The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience, and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world," Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday. 

    READ MORE: India Aims Big in Oil World With $40 Billion Refinery Complex

    A pre-feasibility study for the refinery — capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day — has been completed and the parties are now finalizing the project's overall configuration. Now, both the parties will formalize the creation of a joint venture that would provide for joint ownership, control and management of the project. The refinery will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms.

    The refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemical complex, which will be capable of producing approximately 18 million tons per annum of petrochemical production.

    "Investing in India is a key part of our company's global downstream strategy, and another milestone in our growing relationship with India," Amin H Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco said.

    Saudi Aramco's opened its Asia office in New Delhi last year with a mandate to expand the company's international portfolio in this key region that has been exhibiting impressive economic growth.

    "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," Nasser added. 

    READ MORE: India Threatens to Trim Down Oil Imports from OPEC if High Prices Persist

    "Large as this project may be, it does not by itself satisfy our desire to invest in India. We see India as a priority for investments and for our crude supplies," Khalid al-Falih, the Saudi Arabia energy minister, said. "We're very much interested in retail… We want to be consumer-facing," he added.

    India plans to expand its refining capacity by 77 percent to about 8.8 million barrels per day by 2030. Saudi Arabia also plans to open its own retail outlet in the world's third largest consumer of the oil.

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    Tags:
    retail, petroleum, refinery, crude oil, economic, Saudi Aramco, India, Saudi Arabia
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