Reliance Industries (RIL) and British energy major BP on Tuesday announced a joint venture for expansion of motor and aviation fuels retail business. RIL will hold 51 per cent and BP 49 per cent stake in the JV.
The agreement was signed by Mukesh Ambani, RIL Chairman, and Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive of BP, in Mumbai on Tuesday.
According to an agreement, the JV will assume ownership of RIL's Indian fuel retail network and also access its aviation fuel business.
"BP and RIL today (Tuesday) announced that they have agreed to form a new JV that will include a retail service station network and aviation fuels business across India. Building on RIL's existing Indian fuel retailing network and an aviation fuel business, the partners expect the venture to expand rapidly to help meet the country's fast-growing demand for energy and mobility," it said.
The final agreements, likely to be reached soon, are subject to regulatory and other customary approvals. The transaction would be complete in the first half of 2020, said a joint statement.
It's another development in the RIL-BP partnership, which began in 2011 and expanded in 2017 through an agreement to seek options to work together to develop differentiated fuels and mobility businesses.
The JV will incorporate and build on RIL's fuel retailing network of over 1,400 sites across India. The partners aim to grow it to around 5,500 sites in five years.
The new JV will also include aviation fuels business of RIL, which operates at over 30 airports across India, providing BP participation in this rapidly-growing market.
Commenting on the partnership, Ambani said: "Our robust partnership in developing gas resources in India has now expanded to fuel retailing and aviation fuels. This transformative partnership will deepen our engagement with consumers in further enhancing the world-class services across the country."
The venture will seek to expand its reach, broadening access through mobile fuelling units and providing packaged fuels to customers, including home-delivery, as per the statement.
After initial co-operation, since 2008, in offshore exploration in India, BP and RIL entered into the current partnership in 2011 when BP acquired a 30 per cent interest in RIL's portfolio of exploration and production interests offshore India, including the KG D6 gas-producing block off the east coast.
More recently, since 2017, the partners have sanctioned three new gas developments in the KG D6 block.