labels: Oil & gas
Essar Oil restarts 350 retail outlets; plans a comeback by December news
17 October 2008

Shashi Ruia, ChairmanMumbai: Private sector refiner Essar Oil has restarted about 350 of its 1,250 fuel stations in the country as the price of crude oil has started declining. Essar Oil plans to restart up to 70 per cent of its fuel outlets by end-December, a company spokesman said.

Essar, which started reviving its closed fuel station in August, hopes to restart up to 70 per cent of its retail outlets by December.

Essar Oil and its larger rival Reliance Industries were forced to close down their fuel outlets following competition from subsidised fuel from state-run fuel distributors.

Both Essar and Reliance were selling petrol and diesel at rates substantially above the rates charged by public sector oil companies.

Essar was selling petrol at Rs2-5 a litre above the PSU rates and diesel at Rs6-10 per litre higher.

Essar, which runs a 10.5 million tonne a year refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat, had shut almost all of its retail outlets starting April 2007.

While the government partially compensated state refiners by giving them bonds to make up the shortfall, private sector refiners had no such facility.

Essar, which sells its branded petrol 'Punch' and high speed diesel through its outlets, also sells a host of other products and services that cater to customers' requirements in different markets. Essar has entered into tie-ups with leading companies like Castrol (for lubes), Pepsi and Coca Cola (for beverages), Biostad and Rallis (for fertilisers), Tata Indicom (for PCO booths) and HDFC for ATMs.

Essar and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC), meanwhile, jointly won an oil and gas exploration block in Indonesia.The Essar E&P-GSPC consortium won the Southeast Tungkal block as Indonesia today awarded 22 new oil and gas blocks out of the 25 it had offered for bidding recently.

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Essar Oil restarts 350 retail outlets; plans a comeback by December