Oman Oil delays finalizing Bina stake

Oman Oil Corp., which was to have finalized its stake in the Bina oil refinery in Madhya Pradesh by Tuesday, is taking more time to confirm its participation. This latest delay has given rise to speculation that Oman Oil may be planning to pull out of the project.


NEW DELHI�Oman Oil Corp., which was to have finalized its stake in the Bina oil refinery in Madhya Pradesh by Tuesday, is taking more time to confirm its participation. This latest delay has given rise to speculation that Oman Oil may be planning to pull out of the project.

Meanwhile, Oman Oil has hired a UK-based consultant (reportedly Chem Systems Inc.) to conduct a detailed review of the Bina project.

Oman Oil had planned to take a 26% stake in the project, christened as Bharat Oman refinery. The company has indicated long delays for various clearances of the project have caused doubts (OGJ Online, Apr. 30, 2000).

Already, the 6-million ton 750 billion rupee refinery, which was planned 5 years ago, has been hanging in the balance due to several environmental hurdles. This has resulted in cost overruns of nearly 250 billion rupees.

The long wait has been exasperating for Oman Oil, which has since been courted to take a stake in Essar Oil Ltd.�s 10.5 million ton refinery in Vadinar, Gujarat.

Informed sources say that Oman Oil has been more receptive to the Essar proposal, as the refinery is halfway through in implementation and will be operational by the end of 2001.

The Indian government has, however, told Oman Oil that it should not back out of the Bina refinery as it represents a sovereign agreement between India and the Sultanate of Oman.

The Indian government has said that Oman Oil is welcome to invest in Essar Oil so long as the Bina project is not given the cold shoulder.

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