Abu Dhabi National Oil Company agreed to pick up a stake in the planned USD 44-billion refinery-cum-petrochemical project in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.
“ADNOC and Saudi Aramco will together hold 50 percent stake. The terms are being discussed," said Aramco CEO Amin Nasser.
Initially, ADNOC was to sign the pact when Dharmendra Pradhan the oil minister visited UAE last month but the event got pushed back. Aramco had signed an agreement to take up to 50 percent stake in the Ratnagiri refinery project.
Aramco stated that it will at a later date dilute some of its 50 percent equity stake in the 60 million tonne-a-year refinery project in favor of another strategic investor.
Now, the Saudi national oil company is diluting some of that stake to ADNOC. Nasser did not give the exact split of stake between Saudi Aramco and ADNOC.
Aramco will supply half of the crude oil required for processing at the refinery that will be commissioned by 2025.
State-owned refiners like Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd will own the remaining 50 percent stake.
ADNOC and Aramco are looking to capture customers in the world's third-largest oil consumer through the investment. Kuwait also wants to invest in projects in return for getting an assured offtake of their crude oil.
Saudi Arabia, last year invested in refinery projects in Malaysia and Indonesia that came with long-term crude oil supply deals.
Till 2016-17, Saudi Arabia was the biggest oil supplier to India but slipped behind Iraq last fiscal. The country had supplied 39.5 million tonnes of crude oil to India in 2016-17, ahead of 37.5 million tonnes by Iraq.
But in the first 11 months of 2017-18 fiscal, Saudi supplies at 33.9 million tonnes lagged behind Iraqi exports of 42.4 million tonnes to India. UAE supplies comparatively less oil to India. Aramco is also keen on venturing into fuel retailing in India.