22 May 2007 - 09:49
  • News Code: 105240

MUMBAI -- India"s Essar Global plans to invest 138 billion rupees ($3.4 billion) to build a proposed 300,000 b/d refinery in northern Egypt. The project likely will be approved, but it is unknown whether Egypt would permit Essar Global to proceed alone or insist in retaining some portion of equity in a project. If approved, the refinery could be on stream by 2010.

Egyptian oil output has declined to 800,000 b/d from peak levels of nearly 1 million b/d in the mid-1990s, and the country is actively encouraging international firms to invest in the oil and gas sector in the country to reverse the declining hydrocarbon output trend.


Egyptian Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy s said the country plans to develop recent discoveries in the Gulf of Suez and the Western Sahara. And last month, because of its strategic importance, Egypt postponed a plan to privatize its 100,000 b/d Middle East Oil Refinery (Midor) in Alexandria.


Essar Global"s proposed refinery is part of its plan to have a larger presence in western Asia, where oil-fueled growth and a construction boom have boosted domestic consumption, squeezing supplies to Europe and Asia.


The diversified group also is conducting talks with Iran to develop the country"s largest oil field, Azadegan, to fuel a planned refinery and steel plant.


India"s state-owned refiner Indian Oil Corp. also has proposed participation in a crude pipeline project from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea coast to allow oil flow to Asia, bypassing the Suez Canal.



News Code 105240

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