British oil major BP Plc and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are planning to jointly set up as many as 2,000 petrol pumps in India over the next three years, according to two people aware of the development. The exact arrangement of the venture is being worked out and would be decided in a few months, a Reliance executive, one of the two people cited above, said on condition of anonymity.
While Reliance already independently runs 1,343 petrol pumps, BP received a licence to set up 3,500 fuel retail outlets in India in October 2016. India is one of the few major global markets where fuel demand is growing and has attracted attention from foreign fuel retailers seeking to gain a toehold in a country where fuel retailing is dominated by state-run companies.
BP is RIL’s partner in its exploration and production ventures in the country. In February 2011, London-based BP bought a 30% stake in 21 oil and gas production-sharing contracts operated by RIL for $7.2 billion. The two are also partners in India Gas Solutions Pvt. Ltd, an equal joint venture for sourcing and marketing of gas in the country.
“We had a memorandum of association signed with BP but there was no definitive agreement. However, we will continue to expand our retail footprint and the marketing. It is in line with what we had planned to do,” V. Srikanth, joint chief financial officer of RIL, said after the company reported its second-quarter earnings on 17 October.