RIL, BP expand ties to service stations, ATF biz

RIL, BP expand ties to service stations, ATF biz

British Petroleum (BP) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Tuesday announced a new joint venture (JV) that will include a retail service station network and aviation fuels business across India.

The JV will incorporate and build on RIL's current fuel retailing network of over 1,400 sites across India, which the partners aim to grow rapidly to up to 5,500 sites over the next five years. This will also include RIL's aviation fuels business, which currently operates at over 30 airports across India.

It is anticipated that final agreements will be reached this year and, subject to regulatory and other customary approvals, the transaction will be complete in the first half of 2020.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL, and Bob Dudley, Group CEO of BP, signed heads of agreement for the venture in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Commenting on the development, Mukesh Ambani in a statement said that RIL's partnership with BP in developing gas resources in India has now expanded to fuel retailing and aviation fuels.

Bob Dudley said that India is set to be the world's largest growth market for energy by the mid-2020s. "BP is already a large investor here, and we see further attractive, strategic opportunities to support this growth." Dudley said.

The partners have agreed to set up a new JV company, held 51% by RIL and 49% by BP.

According to the company officials, the venture is also expected to benefit from access to fuel supplies from RIL's Jamnagar refining complex in Gujarat, which is the world's largest refinery complex.

BP and RIL entered the current partnership in 2011, when BP acquired a 30% interest in RIL's portfolio of exploration and production interests in offshore, including the major producing KG D6 gas-producing block off the east coast.