NEW DELHI: Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Tuesday said it is working to complete contours of a $15-billion deal with Saudi Aramco but did not give a timeline for its completion.
Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani in August last year announced talks for sale of 20 per cent stake in the oil-to-chemical (O2C) business, which comprises its twin oil refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat and petrochemical assets, to the world’s largest oil exporter. The deal was to be concluded by March 2020 but has been delayed.
“Reliance is working to complete the contours of a strategic partnership with Saudi Aramco,” Ambani said in the firm’s latest annual report without giving timelines.
The partnership with Aramco would give Jamnagar refineries “access to a wide portfolio of value-accretive crude grades and enhanced feedstock security for a higher oil-to-chemicals conversion,” he said.
Reliance executed on the next phase of its growth journey in 2019-20, forging transformative partnerships across businesses.
“Reliance and Aramco share a common outlook and vision on the evolution of the business in the future with emphasis on higher oil-to-chemicals conversion,” the firm said in the annual report.
Also, the firm said it has formed a 51:49 joint venture with BP plc of the UK for automobile and aviation fuel business in India.
With a stake, Aramco would not just have a stake in one of the world’s best refineries and the largest integrated petrochemical complex but also access to one of the fastest-growing markets — a ready-made market for 5 lakh barrels per day of its Arabian crude and offering a potentially bigger downstream role in future.
Besides refineries and petrochemical plants, the O2C business also comprises 51 per cent stake in the fuel retailing business. It, however, does not include the upstream oil- and gas-producing assets such as the flagging KG-D6 block in the Bay of Bengal.
RIL’s refineries are one of the most complex in the world, allowing it to earn a significant premium to the benchmark Singapore gross refining margin. Its petrochemical complexes rank among the biggest in the world, whose dependency on outside raw materials is minimal. RIL has leadership positions both in the domestic polymer and polyester markets.