Saudi Aramco picks up 50% stake in Maharashtra refinery

The logo of Saudi Aramco is seen in Manama Bahrain

Saudi Arabia's state oil giant has signed an agreement with Indian consortium Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals to develop a $44bn (£31bn) mega refinery in India.

The refinery at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra 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.

Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) will rank among the largest world refining and petrochemicals projects and will be created to meet Indias fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand.

India-the world's third largest oil consumer-has been pushing for reasonable crude oil pricing from The Kingdom. "We have seen an inflection point into economic as well as energy demand and the companies have also grown to appreciate the values that Saudi Aramco and the Kingdom bring in terms of reliability and consistency of energy supplies", he added.

The signing of the mega refinery project in India followed Saudi Aramco's deal with French energy firm Total for a $5bn petrochemical complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, as well as the finalisation of its petrochemical joint ventures with Malaysia's state-owned oil and gas firm PETRONAS. If things go to plan, RRPCL will go a long way in meeting India's fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand.

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The 50 per cent of the crude requirement of the project will be met by Saudi Arabia.

New Delhi: Kuwait Petroleum International is likely to buy stake in an Indian refinery-cum-petrochemical project, said Nabeel Bourisli, the company's chief executive officer, on Wednesday. The new facility will be integrated with an existing oil refinery-itself a joint venture between Aramco and Total.

Saudi Aramco is also participating as sponsor of the forum which opened today (April 10) and will run until April 12.

"The projects will have risks, the markets will have risk, but India has no risk and have told the Aramco team to assign zero political and regulatory risk to India and treat it as part of Saudi Arabia", he told reporters. "We're looking to global gas to identify opportunities for gas that we can also bring to the kingdom", he said. However, B Ashok, the CEO of RRPL, reportedly claimed that the project is well on its course and is expected to be ready by 2025.