The world’s biggest crude oil producer and the world’s most profitable company, Saudi Aramco, plans to collaborate with Indian refining giant, Reliance Industries, as well as other companies to invest in refineries and petrochemical projects in India. $44 billion has reportedly been allocated by this collaborative venture between Aramco and India’s PSU oil companies to set up a refinery in Maharashtra.
Saudi Arabia’s interest in India is part of its strategy to increase its share in Asia’s crude oil market and invest more in refining and petrochemicals to reduce its economy’s dependence on crude oil sales. Comparable projects of Aramco include a major investment in refining and petrochemicals projects in South Korea, as well as a $7 billion joint venture investment with Malaysia’s Petronas for a refinery that will buy at least half of its crude oil requirement from Saudi Arabia. Aramco has similar plans for India, given its status as one of world’s top energy consumers
However, following protests regarding land acquisition for the projects, the Maharashtra government may have to relocate the refinery to coastal land spreading across 15,000 acres. But no compromises with the project timeline would be made.