Vastavam web: Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) is in talks to buy 24 percent of the Bina joint venture refinery in central India, two Indian and two foreign sources said, as the Middle East nation wants to increase its South Asian market share.Global oil producers are vying to gain entry into India’s expanding refining sector. The world’s third-biggest oil importer plans to raise its refining capacity by 77 percent to about 8.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030 to meet rising fuel demand.The 120,000-bpd Bina plant is operated by Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd (BORL), a 50-50 joint venture between Oman Oil Co and state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp.
Kuwait Petroleum International Chief Executive Officer Nabil Bourisli said in April his company intends to sign a deal soon to buy a stake in an Indian refinery and petrochemical project and supply as much as 200,000 bpd of oil.BPCL has funded an expansion of the Bina refinery to 156,000 bpd that is to be completed later this year. Oman Oil did not invest in the upgrade. BPCL has an option to convert its additional spending into equity that would raise its overall share in BORL to 74 percent.
Indian sources said BPCL would like to retain at least 50 percent in BORL, mirroring an equity structure for a planned west coast refining project co-financed by Saudi Aramco in which Indian and foreign ownership is evenly split.For Bina, the plan would be for BPCL to retain half of the refinery, while KPI and Oman Oil would share the remaining 50 percent stake, the Indian sources said.An Oman Oil Co source said participation of KPI is one of the proposals being discussed among the three parties – BPCL, Oman Oil Co and KPI – but that nothing is finalised yet.BORL turned profitable for the first time in fiscal 2015/16, and since then has been posting double-digit gross refining margins. In 2016/17, BORL’s net profit more than doubled to 8.1 billion Indian rupees ($121.91 million).