Govt offers 10% stake in IOC plant to Saudi Aramco

Govt offers 10% stake in IOC plant to Saudi Aramco

New Delhi: Government has offered a 10% stake in the upcoming Paradip refinery of state-run Indian Oil Corp to Saudi Aramco for about $650 million, a government official told reporters on Thursday.

The official, who did not wish to be a named, said Indian firms currently buy 25 million tonnes of crude oil annually from Saudi Aramco.

“Historically, the Saudis have been interested in investing in refineries and distribution, but distribution at the moment in India is not viable (due to government-regulated fuel prices)," he said.

India has recently sent a proposal offering stake in IOC’s 300,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) coastal refinery in eastern India and the discussions would continue during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Saudi Arabia from 27 February, the official said.

He said India has also offered stakes to Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) in petrochemical projects to be set up by Oil and Natural Gas Corp in the western Gujarat state and in the southern Karnataka state.