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Aramco Inaugurates New Delhi Office to Support Saudi Oil Investments - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Dammam- Middle East oil giant Saudi Aramco announced its most dramatic expansion so far with the opening of Aramco Asia India’s new office in New Delhi. India is the world’s third-largest energy-consuming economy.

The State-run oil giant Aramco is in talks with several Indian refiners and hopes to land a joint venture deal by next year, the company’s chief executive told Reuters on Sunday.

“We are hoping to land on a JV sometime,” Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser said at India Energy Forum by Cera Week in New Delhi.

Asked if a deal could be finalized next year, he said: “We hope so. We are in serious discussions.”

Aramco wants to buy a stake in the planned 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) refinery in India’s west coast, India’s oil minister said in June.

The world’s biggest oil producer is investing in refineries abroad to help lock in demand for its crude and expand its market share ahead of its initial public offering next year.

Aramco plans to float up to 5 percent of its shares in 2018 in what could be the world’s largest IPO, raising as much as $100 billion.

Nasser said Aramco is interested in investing in India’s downstream sector – refining, petrochemicals and fuel retailing including lubricants.

Saudi Arabia is competing with Iraq to be India’s top oil supplier, with Iraq displacing it for the fifth month in a row in August, data compiled by Reuters showed.

Earlier this year Saudi Arabia pledged billions of dollars of investment in projects in Indonesia and Malaysia to ensure long-term oil supply deals.

The International Energy Agency estimates India’s refining capacity will lag fuel demand going forward, requiring investment in new plants.

Saudi Aramco earlier on Sunday launched a new office in New Delhi as it aims to expand its presence in India.

India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who inaugurated Aramco’s India unit, said Aramco is interested in investing in refinery projects in the Asian country and “very soon they will come to India.”

Nasser said Aramco will increase its staff strength in India by four-fold compared to now. The company which had 14 employees has now raised staff numbers to around 30.

“India by itself is an important market. The size of India’s market is huge. The growth in India last year is 8 percent last year as compared to 1.5 percent globally in energy,” Nasser said.
“We need to be here.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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