BP (British Petroleum) is extending its partnership with Reliance Industries (RIL) to help meet burgeoning demand for energy and mobility in India. The partners have agreed to form a major new joint venture (JV) that will include a retail service station network and aviation fuels business operating across India.
The new JV will assume ownership of RIL’s existing fuel retailing network of more than 1,400 sites across the country, with the aim of rapidly expanding to 5,500 sites over the next five years. The JV will be 51 percent held by RIL and 49 percent by BP, with final agreements anticipated to be reached during this year and the deal completed in the first half of 2020, subject to approvals. The JV between Reliance and BP will source fuels from Reliance’s Jamnagar site, said to be the largest refinery and petrochemical complex in the world.
Bob Dudley, BP CEO, said, “We are working closely with Reliance to develop India’s gas resources, helping to meet the country’s demand for that key fuel. Together, we will work to provide consumers in India with the high-quality fuels, convenience retail and services they need, continuing to drive modernisation and mobility solutions across the country.”
India is expected to be the fastest-growing major fuels market in the world over the next 20 years, with the number of passenger cars in the country estimated to grow almost six-fold in that time. RIL’s chairman and managing director, Mukesh Ambani, added: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with BP, one of the global leaders in the fuel-retailing sector. This partnership is a testimony to the strong ties between BP and Reliance.”
BP and RIL have been in partnership since 2011, when BP acquired a 30 percent stake in RIL’s upstream interests offshore India. The two expanded their agreement in 2017 and have been working together to develop options for differentiated fuels and mobility businesses in the country.