India has decided to commercialise half of its current strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs) as the nation looks to enhance private participation in the building of new storage facilities, two government sources told Reuters on Thursday.
The shift in policy was approved this month by the federal cabinet, they said. Allowing commercialisation of SPRs mirrors a model adopted by countries such as Japan and South Korea which allow private lesees, mostly oil majors, to re-export crude.
India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, imports over 80% of its oil needs and has built strategic storage at three locations in southern India to store up to 5 million tonnes of oil to protect against supply disruption.
Private entities taking storage on lease will be allowed to re-export 1.5 million tonnes of oil stored in the caverns in the case of Indian companies refusing to buy the crude, they said.
Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd, a company charged with building of SPRs, will be allowed to sell 1 million tonnes of crude to local buyers, they added.
So far Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) has leased 750,000 tonnes of oil storage in the 1.5-million-tonne Mangalore SPR.