Nidhi Verma / Reuters
New Delhi: In a bid to widen its supply base, Reliance Industries will buy 30% of the additional crude oil pumped by Saudi Arabia in July after lifting the same proportion of extra supplies this month, a top company official said on 16 June. “Yes about 30% of incremental volume is coming to Reliance. The supply will be both for the existing and new refinery,” PMS Prasad, president of Reliance’s petroleum division, told Reuters.
It is also planning to explore for oil in Peru and will evaluate investing in a new petrochemicals complex in the Andean country, officials said on 16 June. The Indian group, a newcomer to Peru, plans to look for hydrocarbons in the province of Puno and the Amazon basin.
“Investments could reach hundreds of millions of dollars,” Savitri Kunadi, a company officer, said after meeting with Peru’s President Alan Garcia.
Reliance runs a 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery at Jamnagar and its subsidiary, Reliance Petroleum is expected to commission a 580,000 bpd plant at the same location this year, making it the world’s biggest refining complex.
Reliance was buying 30% of the additional Saudi supply of 300,000 bpd in June and would buy the same percentage of “whatever extra oil” is offered by the kingdom in July, Prasad said.
Initially analysts and market sources had said Saudi Arabia might struggle to find willing buyers for the extra oil.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said over the weekend that Saudi Arabia was set to hike its oil output to 9.7 million bpd in July, indicating a total 550,000 bpd or 6% increase in supply since May.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is also hosting a meeting of producers and consumers on 22 June to discuss the reasons for high prices and amid calls from consumers, such as Britain, for more oil.
Prasad said he expected the meeting would help stabilise the crude oil market.
“We expect there will be less volatility and more stability after the meeting,” he said.
Global crude oil prices steadied near $134 on 16 June after touching a record high near $140 the previous day, with the market looking ahead to the meeting of oil producers and consumers at Jeddah at the weekend.