Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Oil Minister has tweeted briefly of his formal discussions with Reliance while on his visit to Udaipur to take part in the pre-wedding celebrations of Isha Ambani with Anand Piramal last week.
The Oil Minister, in his tweet, said that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of oil and Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Ltd have discussed joint investment plans in petrochemicals and oil refinery projects briefly during their rendezvous at the wedding.
Khalid, who has known Mukesh Ambani for over a decade now, said in his Arabic tweet “delighted to meet Ambani” and “we discussed opportunities for joint investments and cooperation in petrochemical, refining and communication projects“. The tweet also had a picture of Khalid with Mukesh Ambani, dressed in a business suit – most of Ambani’s pictures at the venue were in traditional dresses, so the meeting was held formally, assumedly. Reliance, in the meanwhile, has not commented on the discussions.
As per reports, Saudi is keen to get a strong foothold in India for the crude oil it produces.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, and its partner Abu Dabhi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) have picked up 50% stake in a planned $44 billion Ratnagiri refinery in Maharashtra but the project is facing problems in acquiring land due to protests from local politicians.
Saudi Aramco and Adnoc will together hold 50% stake in the 60 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) refinery and adjacent 18 mtpa petrochemical complex planned to be built at Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra by 2025. The two will supply half of the crude oil required for processing at the refinery.
Like other major producers, the two are looking to lock in customers in the world’s third-largest oil consumer through the investment. Kuwait too is looking to invest in projects in return for getting an assured offtake of their crude oil.
Saudi Aramco is also keen on retailing fuel in India. A refinery in India can also be a base for it to export fuel to deficit countries in Europe and the Americas. India has a refining capacity of 247.6 million tonnes, which exceeded the demand of 206.2 million tonnes.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this demand is expected to reach 458 million tonnes by 2040.News Source: LiveMint