Private refiners, public sector may together import crude to cut costs

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Private refiners, public sector may together import crude to cut costs
© Provided by The Financial Express Addressing a press conference at the end of the India Energy Forum CERAWEEK event, Puri said the ministry’s secretary Tarun Kapoor met all crude oil importers — including the private sector — regarding the issue, and the private sector was very enthusiastic at the prospect of everyone gaining from collective bargaining.

In an attempt to bring down the oil import bill, the government is planning to form a consortium which will include both state-run companies as well as private sector oil refiners, Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday.

Addressing a press conference at the end of the India Energy Forum CERAWEEK event, Puri said the ministry’s secretary Tarun Kapoor met all crude oil importers – including the private sector – regarding the issue, and the private sector was very enthusiastic at the prospect of everyone gaining from collective bargaining.

“I was very encouraged with the result of the meeting,” Puri said, adding that “I am very optimistic that the actions taken by us will reap beneficial outcomes”.

Crude imports are done separately by the different oil companies, including the state-run oil marketing companies (OMC), private sector and joint venture companies. “As it made it was more feasible for the Centre to import Covid vaccines on behalf of all the states, rather than states floating separate tenders, this thought is along the same lines.” the minister stated.

Crude oil import increased 12.9% annually to 100.7 million tonnes (MT) in the first half of the fiscal, while import value went up 127.7% to $51 billion in the same period. The price of Indian basket of crude is currently at around $82/barrel, up from $69/barrel in mid-August, supported by global demand recovery and limited production from major oil exporting nations.

Among the 113.3 MT of crude oil processed in the April-September period, 62.3 MT was the throughput of public sector refineries and 41 MT was processed by private refineries owned by Reliance Industries Ltd and Nayara Energy (earlier known as Essar Oil before it was acquired by Rosneft and Trafigura Group).

The remaining crude was processed by refineries owned by joint ventures like Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd (partnership between Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and OQ SAOC) and HMEL (joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Mittal Energy Investment Pte Ltd, Singapore).

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