Saudi Aramco enters agreement to build mega refinery in India

Saudi Aramco has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals to build a mega refinery in Maharashtra – the latest in a flurry of deals recently signed by the oil giant

Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser believes the development of the mega refinery will present opportunities for further collaboration with India in the future

On April 11, Saudi Aramco announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with an Indian oil consortium, Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals, to develop a mega refinery in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This is the second major international deal signed by Saudi Aramco in as many days.

The refinery will cost an estimated $44bn and will have the capacity to process 1.2 million barrels of crude oil every day. A petrochemical-producing complex capable of producing approximately 18 million tons of petrochemicals per year will also be integrated into the facility.

“Investing in India is a key part of our company’s global downstream strategy and another milestone in our growing relationship with India,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser in a statement.

Saudi Aramco is hoping to cash in on India’s investment push and increasing demand for petrochemicals, which is set to grow by one third by 2020

“The signing marks a significant development in India’s oil and gas sector, enabling a strategic joint venture and investment partnership that will serve India’s fast-growing demand for transportation fuels and chemical products.

“Participating in this mega project will allow Saudi Aramco to go beyond our crude oil supplier role to a fully integrated position that may help usher in other areas of collaboration, such as refining, marketing and petrochemicals for India’s future energy demands.”

The agreement came just one day after the Saudi oil behemoth announced $12bn worth of cooperation agreements with French oil companies. Among these deals was a memorandum of understanding with Total to build a petrochemical facility fed by the two companies’ existing joint venture oil refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Aramco is hoping to cash in on India’s investment push and increasing demand for petrochemicals, which is set to grow by one third by 2020. The deals with Indian and French companies are also likely to add value to Saudi Aramco in the run up to its planned IPO next year, which will see the company list a five percent stake worth an estimated $2trn.