Shell explores expansion plans in India’s fuel retail market

Royal Dutch Shell, which currently owns 85 of India’s 59,595 petrol pumps, plans to boost this number to 1,500 in the next 10 years.

“We have a plan to get up to 1,500 retail stations…We have identified when we want to expand and how we want to expand,” Shell India Chairman Nitin Prasad told local media.

The Indian fuel retail market is heavily dominated by the country’s state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs). Reliance Industries owns 1,400 outlets while Essar Oil, which was recently acquired by Russia’s Rosneft, owns 3,499. Shell is the only foreign player.

Prasad said Shell is also interested in renewable energy, especially wind, solar, biofuels, as well as natural gas, areas where Shell is particularly a strong global player.

“We are taking a look at all these different areas,” Prasad said. “Gas being a cleaner burning fuel we are taking a look at how we can take a look at gas in the downstream market. How does gas begin to replace diesel gen sets in the industrial sector? How does LNG in transportation come into place? LNG in marine? “

Shell already owns a majority stake in the 5 million-tonne-a year liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Hazira in the state of Gujarat.