Assam Govt wants to buy NRL, runs with OIL

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Assam Government wants to buy 12% more of NRL and jointly run the refinery in the Public Sector.

This was informed to Pratidin Time by Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary at the sideline of the Indo-Bangladesh bilateral trade meeting on Tuesday night.

This is noteworthy that Assam already has 12% and would like to raise it to 24% when the bid for NRL disinvestment opens. “I am ready to send the money tomorrow,” said Mr. Patowary.

Meanwhile, the Oil India Limited has pitched in to buy out the BPCL’s share in the Numligarh refinery Limited and OIL Chairman Sushil Chandra Mishra in this regard recently met Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at New Delhi.

Mr. Pradhan reportedly assured the CMD but did not commit anything as OIL giants of the World are also expected to make their bid for HPCL’s share in the NRL.

OIL CMD Mr Mishra also met Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in this regard on October 20 at Guwahati and sought his help The OIL also wants to increase their stake by another 24%.

If this new proposition is accepted by Ministry of Petroleum then OIL would have 52% and Assam Government shall have 24%.

“This is a win-win situation for all. Not only the NRL will remain in Public Sector but also the sentiment of the people of the state shall be honoured” said an NRL top official..

Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet is on the verge of approving the strategic disinvestment of five PSUs, including Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), as well as a proposal to bring down direct government holding in PSUs to below 51%. BPCL, the holding company of NRL has 56% which is being offloaded by the government now.

The new proposition will see Assam Government and OIL taking away 46% of the total 56% on the blocks.

But it all depends on the Ministry fo petroleum. Since they need money they may go for highest bid undermining the sentiment of the people, said a top ministry source.

The government is planning to invite top global oil and gas giants to bid for its stake in Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and ONGC’s stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL).

The long and winding road to BPCL privatisation
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The petroleum ministry plans to approach the multinational companies and their investment bankers after the union cabinet clears strategic disinvestment of the first set of companies.

The top firms include that are going to be approached Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips (from the US), Royal Dutch Shell and BP Plc (the UK), Rosneft and Lukoil (Russia), Petro China, CNPC and Sinopec (China), Total SA (France) and Saudi Aramco.

Meanwhile back in Assam Privatization of Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) remained a hot emotive issue with Assam based pressure groups were mounting pressure against the privatization.

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