Aramco plans ‘mega investment’ in oil’s demand growth centre


New DelhiSaudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant has “mega investment” plans for the world’s fastest growing oil market.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co aims to create a fully integrated business in India and is interested in partnering on a planned refinery project on the country’s west coast, CEO Amin Nasser (picture) said on Monday in New Delhi. Investing in the plant, which is slated to be among the world’s largest, follows efforts by the producer, known as Saudi Aramco, to bulk up on refining assets ahead of what could be the biggest-ever initial public offering.

“India has all the signs of a prosperous economy that is on the move. This is a market of investment priority and not a choice anymore,” Nasser said at the Indian Energy Forum by CERAWeek. “We have a number of partners with whom we are going to have serious discussions.”

Saudi Arabia has been edged out as the top oil supplier to India amid an intensifying race among producers to retain their most-prized markets. India, which imports about 80% of its crude requirement, has been diversifying its sources of oil supply and is seeking more favourable terms from producers in the Middle East. It received its first oil cargo from the US this month.

Saudi Aramco held talks with India’s state-owned oil companies led by Indian Oil Corp to discuss participation in the 60 million-tonne-a-year refinery being set up in the state of Maharashtra on India’s west coast, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday at the same event. — Bloomberg