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Europe’s oil tycoon gets permission to retail petrol and diesel


Europe’s third-biggest oil trading company, BP, had received a government nod to set up fuel pumps to retail petrol and diesel in India. In chronological order BP will be the tenth consecutive player to enter into the lucrative fuel business which sees a whooping double digit growth in the region.
Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd, an UK based firm, was given approval by the Oil ministry a couple of days back, sources told. When consulted, a BP spokesperson told that he sees a strong future for transportation fuels in the nation and he is keen to be involved in the healthy market and to contribute its development. In the beginning of the year they won the trading approval to retail aviation turbine fuel (ATF)in India. A couple of months later they got full approval for that. And now it added one more feather in its cap—the permission for retailing petrol and diesel. The company should have invested a minimum of Rs 2000 crores in exploration or production of oil refining, gas or product pipeline or terminals leading to existing assets or creation of new assets in the eligible areas. In 2011, BP had bought 30% interest in 21 exploration blocks of RI for 7.2 billion US dollars and hence altogether the investment now is nearly USD 500 million in oil and gas production and exploration for gaining the licence.
Currently India has about 56,190 fuel stations, majority of them is operating in public sector undertakings. Essar Oil and Reliance industries are the limited operators in private sector; together holds some 3,500 pumps. Royal Dutch Shell operates a solid number of 82 fuel stations. Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd(MRPL) and Numaligarh Refineries Ltd together have six outlets . Government-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)owns 25,363 petrol pumps, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd(BPCL)13,439 stations and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd(HPCL) has 13,802 stations. Whereas in ATF fuel retailing, there are 205 stations out of which 100 are owned by Indian Oil Corporation 40 by BPCL and 37 by HPCL. Reliance Industries Ltd has 27 aviation fuel stations at airports but joint venture of Shell and MRPL owns only one. Currently India is the ninth largest aviation market across the globe and its fuel market is circa 5.9 million tonnes per year and is expected to grow continuously to support the growth of Indian economy.

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