New Delhi: The London-listed metals and mining major Vedanta Resources Plc has expressed interest to buy a minority equity stake in the recently revived 9 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) refinery project at the Barmer oil field in Rajasthan, an official statement said.
"With a positive gesture, he (Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedana Resources) expressed his interest in participation in this ambitious project," the Rajasthan government said in the statement.
Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd, the country's oil-refining and marketing major, has evinced interest to build the refinery project at the Barmer oil find of Cairn India Ltd. In 2011, Vedanta had acquired 58.5% equity stake in Cairn India for a total consideration of $8.7 billion.
The refinery is expected to entail an investment of about Rs 200 billion, media reports said.
Hindustan Petroleum has proposed to pick up 51% equity holding in the project, while energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) may hold 26% stake in the project.
Notably, earlier in 2005, ONGC had committed to build the refinery project, but dropped it as it did not find building the project viable.
Besides, state-run Engineers India Ltd (EIL) has also shown interest to have 5% equity participation in the project.
The state government is actively in discussion with Hindustan Petroleum, ONGC and other agencies.
'We are hopeful for positive outcome of these efforts," the statement said.
The refinery would be authorized to off-take crude from Cairn's RJ-ON-90/1 block.
Besides, it may also use Barmer-Salaya Pipeline for the import of crude in case of crude depletion from Barmer block, reports said.
Reports also said that the state government of Rajasthan has already started the process of land acquisition of about 926 hectares for the project and is also likely to take equity stake in the project, apart from giving fiscal concessions like 50% exemption in excise duty to make it viable.
Cairn India, operator of the Barmer block with stake holding of 70%, currently produces 175,000 barrels per day (BPD) from the Rajasthan fields and has the potential to increase production to 300,000 BPD. Barmer block is estimated to have 6.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place.
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