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Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 29 (UNI) World leaders in oil exploration and production (E&P) are eyeing for a stake in the Reliance Industries' upcoming Rs 27,000 crore refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat.

These companies include US energy major Chevron Texpoco, Exxon Mobil, Armmaco and Dupont.

According to industry sources, Chevron has shown keen interest in picking up certain stake in the refinery expansion programme and RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani has already held meeting with top executives of Chevron in USA to possibly finalise a pact.

Reliance is looking for strategic partners who could provide crude for processing at the new 29 million tonne unit and several international firms are eyeing for an opportunity to have an alliance with Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, Reliance Industries is looking for a company that can commit offtake of a certain proportion of the petroleum product made at the new refinery.

When contacted about the alliance with a foreign firm, RIL spokesperson refused to comment on the development by saying that the RIL is under the ''black out'' period due to forthcoming mega public issue of the Reliance Petroleum Limited (RPL), a subsidiary of RIL.

The new refinery would be located in Jamnagar Special Economic Zone, which would give it several fiscal benefits.

The proposed refinery would be more complex than RIL's existing refinery with a Nelson Complexity Index of 14.0 as against 11.3 for RIL's refinery.

The higher complexity would enable it to process crude at an average API gravity of 24 as against 28 for RIL's existing refinery.

The unit is expected to have a hydrocracker, which would boost gasoline production. RIL's existing refinery does not have a hydrocracker.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which was a non-integrated petrochemical company until the late-1990s, made its foray into refining by setting up a 540,000 barrels per day (27 mn tonnes per annum) refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat. The refinery started commercial operations in April 2000 and was built at a cost of USD 3.4 billion (over Rs 25,000 crore).


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