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India seeks Saudi investment in strategic oil storage, rescue plan for refinery project
12 March 2019 , 14:07Neftegaz.RU542
New Delhi, March 12 - Neftegaz.RU. India has invited Saudi Arabia to invest in its strategic oil storage even as it looks to resurrect a $ 44 billion refinery project with the world's largest oil producer after the BJP-ruled Maharashtra government denied land at the initial site.
Saudi oil minister Khalid Al Falih, on his 2nd visit to India in 3 weeks, discussed with its Indian counterpart Dharmendra Pradhan the 60 million tonne a year mega oil refinery petrochemical complex, whose initial allocated land in Maharashtra was denotified by the government earlier this month, as part of electoral understanding between the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena.
«The ministers reviewed various Saudi investment proposals in the Indian oil & gas sector, including the urgent steps to be taken to expedite the implementation of the 1st joint venture West Coast Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Maharashtra, estimated to cost $44 billion, which will be the largest greenfield refinery in the world,» an oil ministry statement said.
The 2 minister held talks here. Shiv Sena had opposed the project at Ratnagiri district and the BJP agreed to its demand of shifting out the project as part of electoral understanding for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.
No alternate site of the project has yet been identified and the statement did not elaborate on steps to be taken for implementation of the project. Saudi Aramco and its partner ADNOC of UAE have signed agreements to take 50 % stake in the project.
The remaining is held by public sector oil firms - IOC, BPCL and HPCL. Pradhan invited Saudi Arabia to invest in India's strategic oil reserves. «Invited Khalid Al Falih to partner in India's Strategic Reserves Program and further enhance Saudi investments in India's refining & petrochemical sectors.»
Saudi Arabia is the 2nd largest supplier of crude and LPG to India. In 2017-18, India's crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia were 36.8 MT, accounting for 16.7 % of its total imports.
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