Mittal on the prowl for acquisitions in oil and gas

New Delhi: International steel giant Mittal is now looking out for acquisitions in downstream ventures in India''s oil and gas sector. Hectic parleys are said to be on between the Mittal Group and state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) for a stake in the latter''s Bhatinda refinery in Punjab.

Oil India (OIL) has also shown interest in participating in the project. There has been some talk of Oil India, Mittal and HPCL combining to own a 26 per cent stake each in the project.

HPCL, scouting for a partner for the project for sometime now has been in talks with Saudi Aramco and Total of France to name a few.

According to market reports, Mittal might take a 49-per cent stake, while OIL is likely to get 15 per cent and HPCL, 36 per cent.

Once the equity structure is finalised, Mittal Investments and HPCL are likely to sign a joint venture agreement for the joint construction of the 9 million tonnes a year Bhatinda refinery, being built by Guru Gobind Singh Refinery Ltd.