HPCL in talks for Syrian crude

New Delhi: Indian refiner Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) has said it is in talks to buy crude oil from Syria. Its chairman also clarified Friday there were no disruptions in supplies from Iran.

"We are in talks with a Syrian party. But, there are lots of issues involved, including transportation," S Roy Choudhury told reporters at the India-Africa Hydrocarbons conference.

UN sanctions aimed at crude oil exports have warded off normal buyers of Syrian crude, creating surpluses and forcing production cuts.

Syria produced around 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) before the unrest of which about a third was exported.

HPCL expects to process 16 million tonnes of crude in the current fiscal year ending March 2012.

The state-run refiner also plans to invest Rs45000 crore ($8.69 billion) until 2016/2017 in strengthening refining capacities, Choudhury said.

HPCL operates 130,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery at Mumbai on the west coast and a 166,000 bpd refinery at Visakhapatnam on the east coast.