A framework agreement was signed between ADNOC, Aramco and a consortium of three Indian oil companies, to explore a strategic partnership and co-investment in the development of a new $44bn mega refinery and petrochemicals complex at Ratnagiri, on India’s west coast.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, and Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas, witnessed the signing ceremony.
The framework agreement was signed by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC Group CEO; Amin H Nasser, Saudi Aramco president and CEO; Sanjiv Singh, chairman of Indian Oil Corporation; MK Surana, CMD, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation; and D Rajkumar, CMD, Bharat Petroleum Corporation. B Ashok, CEO of the Ratnagiri Refining and Petrochemical Company, also witnessed the signing.
Sheikh Abdullah said: “This agreement strengthens the already close ties between the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and between the UAE and India. The UAE is unwavering in its commitment to its strategic multi-lateral relationships with both Saudi Arabia and India, as well as being a reliable partner in India’s energy security. We look forward to exploring further opportunities to expand our energy partnerships and to collaborating on new, broader, opportunities that will further strengthen and deepen the long-standing economic links between our three countries.”
The agreement defines the principles of the joint strategic cooperation between Saudi Aramco and ADNOC to jointly build, own and operate the complex in collaboration with a consortium of Indian national oil companies currently consisting of Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation. Saudi Aramco and ADNOC will jointly own 50% of the new joint venture company – Ratnagiri Refining and Petrochemical Company – with the remaining 50% owned by the Indian Consortium.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC Group CEO, said: “This project is a clear example of our expanded downstream strategy, where we will make strategic, commercially-driven, targeted investments, both in the UAE and abroad. By investing in this project, we will secure off-take of our crude to a key growth economy, as well as one of the world’s largest and fastest growing refining and petrochemical markets.”
“The agreement delivers on the wise directives of the UAE’s leadership, to strengthen and enhance our long-standing ties with our Saudi Arabian and Indian strategic partners. It underlines our expanded approach to energy partnerships, which combines a truly unique set of resources, capabilities and market access to create and maximise shared value.”
Commenting on the tri-partite agreement, Pradhan said: "Our oil and gas relations have taken a major leap today with the signing of the MoU between Saudi Aramco and ADNOC. This will make the UAE and Saudi Arabia partners in India's rapidly growing refining sector and in India's growth story."
The strategic partnership between ADNOC and Saudi Aramco marks a significant step in regional energy partnership and cooperation, bringing together two of the world’s leading national oil companies as strategic partners with the Indian consortium. It will also combine their considerable expertise spanning crude supply, resources and technologies, along with an established commercial presence and global reach. A pre-feasibility study to determine the project’s overall configuration will now be jointly executed by the parties.
Amin H Nasser, Saudi Aramco president and CEO, emphasised the JV’s long-range focus. “World energy demand is expected to grow exponentially by 2050, driven in large part by India. Saudi Aramco is proud to partner with ADNOC and RRPCL to help ensure that the world’s fastest-growing economy has secure, reliable energy feedstocks for its long-term prosperity.”
“The Ratnagiri project will meet India’s rising demand for fuels and chemical products while serving the strategic objectives of the partners. I am pleased that Saudi Aramco will deepen its engagement in India’s fast-growing oil and gas sector through this project that also positions us for future collaboration as a key element of our company’s global downstream strategy.”