British Petroleum’s (BP) Chief Executive, Bob Dudley and Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) Chairman, Mukesh Ambani met with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi behind closed doors on 19th October. The trio held discussions over investment plans for Gujarat by the RIL-BP joint venture. Before the meeting however, the three shared the stage at the third convocation of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) during which Modi, Dudley and Ambani reiterated their future investment plans for the State.
Speaking at the convocation, Dudley said he hoped for a better market-based price for natural gas. “It is one thing to have the right resources below the ground; it is another to have the right conditions above the ground. Here in India, we have seen welcome moves for creating investment-friendly conditions enabling legislators to place regulations in the right place and we hope to see more vibrant domestic energy sector evolve. In particular, we hope to see continued progress towards a market-based price for natural gas which will help release domestic production, reduce imports and improve trade balance.”
Dudley also remarked on the rising energy needs and said that there will be a rise in demand for energy of another four billion tonnes of oil equivalent or an additional 35 per cent by 2030, which is just 17 years from now.
On the subject of BP’s plans in Gujarat, Dudley said, “Gujarat emphasises how the above-ground factors largely based on good policy can make a major difference into the lives of many people. Gujarat, too, features prominently in our growth plans as we are hoping to set up one of the world’s largest acetic acid plants here.
Dudley stated that BP is working with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to set up an acetic acid plant in Gujarat with a capacity of a million tonnes at an investment of over $1 billion dollar near IOC’s Koyali refinery. This news comes on the back of the BP-RIL joint venture submitting a proposal for Gujarat State Petronet Corporation (GSPC)’s LNG terminal in the state. “In addition, we are also looking at LNG re-gasification here with Reliance in Gujarat. We are one of the few companies to have submitted a proposal for a LNG terminal and re-gasification here,” he added
The BP-RIL joint venture has bid for GSPC’s liquefied natural gas terminal in Gujarat. “There has been a bid process that GSPC have gone through and we are one of the three shortlisted players and right now we are going through some due diligence,” said Sashi Mukundan, region president and head of country, India, BP Exploration (Alpha).