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Saudi oil firm Aramco to acquire 20% stake in Indian Reliance refinery at $25 bln

Saudi state-oil giant Aramco is in advanced talks to acquire a roughly 20 percent stake in Reliance Industries Ltd’s oil refining and chemicals business for about $20 billion to $25 billion in Aramco’s shares, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

An agreement could be reached as soon as the coming weeks, according to the report, which cited people with knowledge of the matter.

Aramco and Reliance declined to comment.

Reliance announced a sale of a 20 percent stake in its oil-to-chemicals business to Aramco for $15 billion in 2019, but the deal stalled after oil prices and demand crashed last year due to the pandemic.

During Aramco’s earnings briefing earlier in August, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said the company was still doing due diligence on the deal.

In late June, Reliance’s billionaire chairman Mukesh Ambani said it hopes to formalise its partnership with Aramco this year and its Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the Indian conglomerate’s board as an independent director.

Reliance shares were up 2 percent at 2,187.80 rupees on Monday.

Reliance Industries Limited is an Indian multinational conglomerate company, headquartered in Mumbai, India.

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Aramco took full ownership of Motiva and its Port Arthur refinery in 2017 from its joint-venture partner Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

The $6.6 billion expansion would build two new petrochemical plants in addition to its existing 630,000-barrels-a-day Port Arthur refinery.

Nigeria’s state-oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently making move to acquire 20 percent stake in the yet to be completed Dangote Refimery, world largest single train petroleum refiner.

The federal cabinet approved the proposal by the state oil firm to invest $2.5 billion in a 20 percent share of Dangote’s oil refinery.

Minister of state for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva said in a statement that NNPC will pay $2.76 billion for the 20 percent share of the 650,000 barrel capacity petroleum refinery slated for commission next year.

The NNPC had said earlier that it’s working toward safeguarding the country’s energy security while its plans to buy 20 percent stake in privately owned refineries would not affect efforts to rehabilitate the country’s four refineries.

However, the move by NNPC to invest in Dangote Refinery has generated some controversy within the system as Nigerians were unhappy that the state-owned oil firm that could not manage its own refineries is showing interest to buy into privately owned refiner.

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