Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: After having established itself as a major player in the petroleum sector in the domestic market, Reliance Petroleum Limited (RPL) has chalked out major plans for “major acquisitions” abroad during 2008. In addition to this, it is exploring the possibility of making a foray into the retail petroleum sales in Europe and the U.S.

“We are looking for major acquisitions abroad. We will do something world scale and these acquisitions could be in the range of $10-15 billion,” according to Reliance Petroleum’s international business head, Atul Chandra.

An indication to this effect has come with the recent spate of acquisition of oil and gas assets by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the parent company, in various countries.

RIL was awarded oil and gas contract in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and it signed a production sharing agreement for a deep water offshore block in Oman. It entered into a memorandum of understanding with Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to set up petrochemical plants globally and also, last week, signed two exploration and production contracts with Agencia Nacional de Hydrocarburos (ANH) of Colombia for two offshore blocks.

“We hope one lakh barrels a day should be available from India. Therefore, I should look at another three lakh bpd overseas. Reliance could begin looking for more refining deals once the $6 billion refinery project is finished in mid-2008,” Mr. Chandra said.

On the other hand, it is exploring ways and means to directly sell petroleum products in the U.S. and Europe.