Singapore/New Delhi: The country’s largest private firm by market value, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), is scouting for oil storages globally to market the huge volume of clean products from its new refinery coming online this quarter, company and trade officials said on Tuesday.
Industry representatives said RIL had already bought some petroleum storage tanks in the Caribbean. “I’ve heard they have possibly taken up storage in Panama, but I’m not sure of the details,” a trader with a major European oil company said. The storages will serve as intermediate points to tap distribution areas, mainly in Western markets, where RIL aims to supply its premium products. In Asia, it aims at leasing tanks in the Singapore oil hub.
Reliance’s 580,000 barrels per day (bpd) export-oriented plant is expected to be commissioned in September, to enable the firm to position itself as a swing supplier for markets in Europe, Latin America and East Africa, taking advantage of delays and cost overruns faced by other big refinery projects.
“Yes, we are looking at having storage at various countries to sell our products to encash as and when an opportunity arises,” an RIL official said but declined to offer more details.
Earlier this year, RIL allocated term diesel to selected trading houses for June 2008-May 2009 supplies, including first cargoes from the new plant. Recently it also concluded two term deals to supply 540,000 tonnes petrol in the second-half of the year.
A senior RIL official had said in December the firm was eyeing direct fuel sales to Europe and the US.
Traders said the latest term supply deals would still leave it with more than enough products to ship out on a spot basis when the new refinery comes onstream. It currently operates a 660,000-bpd refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
While it has been seeking leases in Singapore, analysts see the West as its priority.