A framework agreement between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Saudi Aramco (Aramco) and a consortium of three Indian oil companies, to explore a strategic partnership and co-investment in the development of the Ratnagiri refinery and petrochemical complex, was signed on 25 June. The mega refinery project, to be located on India’s west coast, is valued at USD 44 billion.
The framework agreement was signed by UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Saudi Aramco CEO, Amin Nasser, Chairman of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd Chairman, Sanjiv Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, M.K. Surana, and Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., D Rajkumar. Ratnagiri Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd (RRPCL) CEO, C B Ashok, also witnessed the signing.
Also present at the signing were UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.
The agreement defines the principles of the joint strategic cooperation between Saudi Aramco and ADNOC to jointly build, own and operate the complex in collaboration with a consortium of Indian national oil companies currently consisting of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
Saudi Aramco and ADNOC will jointly own 50% of the new joint venture company Ratnagiri Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd, with the remaining 50% owned by the Indian consortium.
“This project is a clear example of our expanded downstream strategy, where we will make strategic, commercially-driven, targeted investments, both in the UAE and abroad. By investing in this project, we will secure off-take of our crude to a key growth economy, as well as one of the world’s largest and fastest growing refining and petrochemical markets,” said Al Jaber.
“This agreement strengthens the already close ties between the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and between the UAE and India. The UAE is unwavering in its commitment to its strategic multi-lateral relationships with both Saudi Arabia and India, as well as being a reliable partner in India’s energy security,” Abdullah said.
Commenting on the tripartite agreement, Pradhan said: “Our oil and gas relations have taken a major leap today with the signing of the MoU between Saudi Aramco and ADNOC. This will make the UAE and Saudi Arabia partners in India’s rapidly growing refining sector and in India’s growth story.”
The strategic partnership between ADNOC and Saudi Aramco marks a significant step in regional energy partnership and cooperation, bringing together two of the world’s leading national oil companies as strategic partners with the Indian consortium. It will also combine their considerable expertise spanning crude supply, resources and technologies, along with an established commercial presence and global reach. A pre-feasibility study to determine the project’s overall configuration will now be jointly executed by the parties.
“World energy demand is expected to grow exponentially by 2050, driven in large part by India. Saudi Aramco is proud to partner with ADNOC and RRPCL to help ensure that the world’s fastest-growing economy has secure, reliable energy feedstocks for its long-term prosperity,” said Nasser.
“The Ratnagiri project will meet India’s rising demand for fuels and chemical products while serving the strategic objectives of the partners. I am pleased that Saudi Aramco will deepen its engagement in India’s fast-growing oil and gas sector through this project that also positions us for future collaboration as a key element of our company’s global downstream strategy.”