New Delhi: US energy major Chevron Corporation will review the progress of Reliance Petroleum Ltd’s 580,000 barrels per day refinery during the week, being built at Jamnagar, where it has a 5% stake.
“We are here for a few days to visit the refinery under construction, where we are a partner at Jamnagar. That is the primary purpose of the visit. We want to see the construction ourselves”, said Chevron Corp Chairman and Chief Executive, David J O’Reilly in a meeting with Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.
Asked about Chevron increasing its stake in the refinery from 5% to 29% as was agreed in April 2006, he said,“We have an agreement with them. If everything goes well, we will see further together. I can’t speculate on the timing”.
As per its April deal with Reliance, Chevron has future rights to purchase additional shares to increase its equity ownership to 29%. “We have made some investment in India and are looking to continue to do business”, O’Reilly said. He, however, did not say whether the company would be participating in future NELP biddings. “I will not speculate on auctions”, he said.
The Chevron chief has scheduled a meeting with Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai on 21 February. From there he will go to Jamnagar to see the construction of the refinery. Reliance Industries currently operates a 660,000 barrels per day refinery in Jamnagar. Reliance Petroleum Limited plans to invest $6 billion (Rs26,520 crore) in the new refinery, which is expected to begin operations in December 2008. The new refinery is designed to have a similar throughput capacity, but is expected to process heavier crude oil.