New Delhi: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, and its partner Abu Dabhi National Oil Co (ADNOC) will have the marketing rights for half of the fuel produced by the planned $44-billion refinery at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, but cannot export without first offering the fuel to local companies. Aramco and ADNOC will together hold 50% stake in the 60-million-tonne-per-annum (MTPA) refinery and an adjacent 18 MTPA petrochemical complex.

“Marketing rights will be in proportion to the shareholding in the refinery. So they (Saudi Aramco and ADNOC) will get marketing rights over 50% of the produce," according to Sanjiv Singh, chairman, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), which is leading domestic refiners in the project. The two firms can sell fuels such as petrol and diesel in the domestic market.

“They are free to market their share but cannot export without first offering it to us," Singh said. "We want to protect our market and meet our domestic requirement first. So we will have the first right of refusal and only then can they export the fuel."

IOC will hold 25% stake in the project, while Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will split the remaining equally among themselves. ADNOC had in June signed an initial pact to join the project by agreeing to take a part of the 50% stake that Saudi Arabia’s national oil company had picked up in the project earlier this year. Singh said the details of how the 50% stake in the project would be split between Saudi Aramco and ADNOC was not known. Aramco and ADNOC will supply half of the crude oil required for processing at the refinery.

India has a refining capacity of 232.066 million tonnes (MT). According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the demand is expected to reach 458 million tonnes (MT) by 2040 against the current 194.2 MT. IOC has 11 refineries with a total capacity of 81.2 MT, while BPCL has four refineries with a capacity of 33.4 MT.

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