Shell plans to sell some India fuel stations

Shell plans to sell some India fuel stations

New Delhi: The Indian arm of Royal Dutch Shell plans to sell of some fuel stations in the Asian country while continuing to build new ones to cover more regions, a company official said on Monday.

Shell India is the only foreign fuel retailer in India’s restricted market, which got a boost in June after the government freed pricing of petrol from state control and raised prices of diesel and other fuels.

“We are realigning our portfolio as part of an ongoing business strategy," spokesman Deepak Mukarji told Reuters. “We are not exiting India fuel retail business."

The company operated about 80 fuel stations in India, he said.

“There are fuel stations we want to continue with and some we are looking at selling. Also we continue to acquire new sites in new regions to expand," he said.

The Business Standard newspaper on Monday reported state-run refiners Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp were planning to bid for Shell’s retail outlets.

“Shell approached Indian Oil and we have given bids for some of the outlets," Indian Oil chairman B M Bansal told the paper.

He was quoted as saying taking over stations in urban areas made business sense because of difficulty in acquiring land there.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp, another state refiner, was not in the race for buying Shell’s fuel stations, an official said.

“Last year they (Shell) were keen to sell some of their retail outlets. In recent times we have not received any proposal from Shell," S Roy Choudhury, director for marketing, told Reuters.