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After Oil Companies’ Privatisation, Center Inviting Foreign Companies to Participate

By switching to privatization mode in state-run oil companies, this move alludes to another way to boost the Indian economy.    
BY Jaspreet Kaur
Feature Writer, BusinessEx
Nov 12,2019

Center has recently begun inviting international energy firms to partake in India’s privatization of state-run oil firms.  

“International energy firms will be invited to participate in India’s privatization of state-owned oil companies,” the Oil Minister of India, Dharmendra Pradhan said in an interview with Reuters.

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met with the chief executives of energy firms in Houston, including those from Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell, Rosneft Oil Co, Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc),” Pradhan further said.

With his statements, the Oil Minister has alluded to the Indian government’s intention to bring foreign investment into the country’s state-run oil firms.

In a conference in Abu Dhabi, Dharmendra Pradhan told the reporters, “ We are inviting oil majors (major companies).”

“They are all towards India’s energy market,” Pradhan said.

Asked if the response was positive, he said, “I am very enthusiastic.”

“A planned oil refinery on India’s west coast in partnership with Aramco and Adnoc is on the right track. There will be more clarity once the new government is formed in the state of Maharastra, where the project is planned, which is deadlocked after the recent elections,” Pradhan said in an interview with Reuters.

At interrogating if a deal can be sealed with Adnoc and Aramco, Pradhan said, “I think so,” refusing to give a timeline.  

India is also open to crude oil imports from Russia, Pradhan said. “We are open to source our requirements from all over the world whoever gives us a responsible and reasonable price. Russia is a very important partner for us.”

Recently, the chairman of Indian Oil Corp said, “the company was looking at buying Russian oil.” 

With this move, the Indian government will allow foreign companies to enter the Indian petroleum industry. Earlier this year, FDI policy amended to increase investment, as well as the participation of foreign players, in the economy. By switching to privatization mode in state-run oil companies, this move alludes to another way to boost the Indian economy.    

Recently, two oil firms, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) are being hammered this fiscal year along with state-run, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), are planning to sell its shares after making an expensive bet to acquire HPCL, The Economic Times reported.


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