Apart from seeking enhanced crude oil and LPG supplies from Saudi Arabia, India will showcase major investment opportunities to the Arab Kingdom and its companies, including offering stake in IOC’s LNG project at Ennore in Tamil Nadu, Kochi Petrochemical Project of BPCL, Opal Petrochemical project at Dahej in Gujarat during the Joint Commission Meeting to be held later this month in Riyadh.
At present, India imports on an average around 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Saudi Arabia and is seeking to increase that quantity. Major Saudi companies like Kingdom Holding, Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and National Industrialisation Company (NIC), the petrochemical holding arm of the Kingdom Holding Company would be offered attractive investment opportunities, including that in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project.
Sources in the Petroleum Ministry said the Indian side would request Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom’s national oil company, to crease term volume of crude to Indian oil marketing companies (OMCs) as the requests already made. State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (HPCLs) request for higher allocation of Arab extra light crude was turned down in July-September 2013 by Saudi Aramco. The company was providing a line of credit to the extent of $65 million to HPCL, which was withdrawn in March 2009.
“Request would be made to restore this credit line and allocate more butane for LPG imports from Saudi Aramco, extending credit payment terms (beyond 30 days) and additional discount over official selling price would also taken up during the meeting,’’ a senior official associated with the dealings in the Ministry said.
India is likely to furnish a list of projects for Saudi investments, including IOC’s 5 mmtpa LNG import and re-gasification terminal at Ennore. IOC is already looking for potential strategic partners for participation in the project on mutually beneficial business terms. Similarly, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) proposes to set up petrochemical project at Kochi in Kerala in joint venture and is looking for an established global petrochem partner with an investment of around $1.4 billion. The other project that is likely to be offered to Riyadh would be is the ONGC Petro additions Limited (OPaL) petrochemical complex at Dahej. The project is being implemented through a joint venture promoted by ONGC along with GAIL and GSPC. OPaL is looking for a strategic investor for this project.