BPCL-Oman Oil looking to sell 24% stake in Bina refinery: report

Bharat Petroleum Corp and its partner Oman Oil are in talks with foreign companies to sell up to 24 per cent stake in their 120,000 barrels per day joint venture Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh, reports quoting BPCL chairman said.

The Bina refinery, which is jointly owned by Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Oman's state oil firm is looking to boost refining capacity by about 30 per cent, a Reuters report quoted BPCL chairman S Varadarajan as saying.

The proposed expansion, costing $460 million, is expected to be completed by 2018. BPCL and Oman Oil Company could make a public share offer next year if a deal is not sealed.

Talks are going on with some interested parties for the sale of up to 24-per cent equity stake, Vradarajan said, but he declined to reveal the names of the parties involved.

"If the talks do not materialise in a deal, we will go for a public issue next year."

The refinery, which has been incurring losses for three consecutive quarters, reported first quarterly profit in the July-September 2015 quarter.

Meanwhile, Varadarajan said, BPCL could buy Latin American crude for its 190,000 bpd Kochi refinery once its capacity is raised to 310,000 bpd next year and its capabilities are enhanced to process cheaper and heavier grades.

Currently the refinery processes sweet and heavy grades in equal proportion. The company could also buy Iranian oil for Kochi if sanctions on Tehran start to ease following successful talks on its controversial nuclear programme, he said.

BPCL shares traded 1.5 per cent lower at Rs894 as against a 0.3 per cent drop in the broader Nifty as of 11:10 am.