Saudi Aramco mulls joint participation in one of India's largest oil and gas projects at Visakhapatnam

Saudi Aramco- world's leading oil company is mulling prospects of participating as a joint venture partner in one of India's largest oil and gas projects at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The 15 mln tpa refinery-cum-petrochemical project is to be built at an investment outlay of over Rs 50,000 crore, and is currently a five-way alliance between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), GAIL, Oil India Ltd (OIL), French energy giant Total and Mittal Investment Sarl. Saudi Aramco's presence will ensure crude oil supplies to the project. Exit by one of the existing JV partners, hit by the recession, seems to be in the pipeline. The Phase-I feasibility study has been completed, and the venture is ready to step into the second phase of the project. Total is leading the project feasibility and demand studies, while GAIL is overseeing a study of the petrochemical unit. About 2,500 acre of land near HPCL's existing 7.5-mtpa refinery at Vizag has been acquired for the project.
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