India’s BPCL signs contract with Petrobras to diversify oil sourcing

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A security guard stands in front of the regional head office of Bharat Petroleum in Kolkata, India. Reuters

India’s state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp said it had signed a preliminary agreement with Brazil’s national oil company Petrobras to help it diversify its crude oil sourcing.

Indian state refiners rarely buy Brazilian oil. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by BPCL Chairman Arun Kumar Singh and Petrobras CEO Caio Paes de Andrade, BPCL said in a statement on Saturday.

The MoU will help the company to explore sourcing of crude oil through long term contracts “especially considering the current geopolitical situations,” it added.

India recently allowed BPCL to invest $1.6 billion for developing an ultra-deep water hydrocarbon block in Brazil. The block is majority owned and operated by Petrobras.

Singh said: “Strengthening India’s foothold in Brazil will further open business avenues in neighboring Latin American countries.”

BPCL said the field development plan and final investment decision for the BM-SEAL-11 block is expected to be declared soon. Oil production from the block is expected from 2026/27.

BPCL is the second largest fuel retailer in India and operates three refineries in the country with a combined capacity of 706,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Meanwhile the Coal India Ltd (CIL) will be inking three major pacts on Sept.27 with BHEL, Indian Oil Corporation and GAIL India for setting up four surface coal gasification projects in the country.

These pacts will help in facilitating setting up of coal-to-chemical projects through surface coal gasification route, official sources said.

Through the surface coal gasification route, coal is converted into syngas that can be subsequently processed for downstream production of value added chemicals. These are otherwise produced through imported natural gas or crude oil. End products which would be produced through this process are di-methyl ether, synthetic natural gas, and ammonium nitrate.

The major advantages of the proposed projects are reduced forex outgo and direct and indirect employment generation to the tune of 23,000, the sources said.

With the twin objectives of self-reliance and energy independence, Coal Ministry has set a target of achieving 100 million tonnes coal gasification by 2030, they added. Meanwhile the steel major Tata Steel Ltd announced a mega merger of listed and unlisted companies, mainly to derive business synergies and also to reduce and simplify the Tata Group’s steel business structure.

Tata Steel’s Board on Thursday approved the amalgamation of seven group companies with the former.

The merging seven companies are: Tata Steel Long Products Ltd, Tinplate Company of India Ltd, Tata Metaliks Ltd, TRF Ltd, Indian Steel & Wire Products Ltd, Tata Steel Mining Ltd, and S & T Mining Company Ltd.

The latest group rejig comes after the announcement of the merger of Tata Coffee Ltd with Tata Consumer Products Ltd.

A reorganization of the group’s aviation business has also been reported in the media. The group has Air India, Air India Express, AI SATS, Vistara, and Air Asia.

The metal group companies’ prime focus and share exchange ratios are as follows:

Tata Steel Long Products (listed) is in the business of production and marketing of sponge iron, which is a single end use (steel making) and a single grade product.

The amalgamation will consolidate the business of Tata Steel Long Products and Tata Steel resulting in focused growth, operational efficiencies, and business synergies. In addition, resulting corporate holding structure will bring enhanced agility to business ecosystem of the merged entity.

As per of the amalgamation scheme, Tata Steel will issue 67 fully paid shares of Re 1 each to shareholders of Tata Steel Long (except Tata Steel) for every 10 fully paid up equity shares of Rs 10 each.

A subsidiary of Tata Steel, The Tinplate Company (listed) is engaged in the manufacture of tinplate and tinplate-related products which is a value-added product of hot rolled coils.

Tata Steel believes that the resources of the merged entity can be pooled to unlock the opportunity for creating shareholder value.

There will be 33 shares of Tata Steel issued for every 10 shares of Rs 10 each for shareholders of The Tinplate Company.

Tata Metaliks (listed) is a subsidiary company of Tata Steel, manufacturing and selling of pig iron and ductile iron pipes and its allied accessories. 70 shares of Tata Steel will be issued for every 10 shares held by Tata Metaliks shareholders.

TRF Ltd (listed) is primarily engaged in the business of undertaking turnkey projects of material handling for the infrastructure sector and also in production of such material handling equipments.

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