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After acquisition of Essar Oil in August, the Rosneft-led consortium has been taking quiet strides in expanding its retail network and utilising synergies for oil supply. Rosneft expects dividends from these fresh investments to show up in the second half of 2018. In August, a Rosneft and the Trafigura-UCP Investment Group consortium completed the acquisition of Essar Oil’s refinery and the related assets, including the port infrastructure in India. On the retail side, data available with Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) says Essar Oil operates no less than 3,888 retail outlets as of October 2017, compared to 3,500 when the acquisition was completed. According to analysts and dealers, though there has been an expansion of outlets, not much change has been witnessed in terms of pricing and discounts. “With the rise in oil prices, not much has been seen in terms of discounts and other price measures in the retail market,” said an analyst with a domestic brokerage firm. Part of the expansion plan for Essar Oil is to expand the retail network to 5,000 outlets.
On the refining side, the expansion plan includes refinery optimisation and increasing capacity by 3.7 mt.Officials at the consortium declined to comment to an email seeking details of retail expansion, oil contracts and financial performance and contribution from Essar Oil. In addition to retail expansion, Essar Oil has also worked on oil supply contracts to the refinery in India in the past few months. “Rosneft has already started highly-efficient oil supplies to the refinery in Vadinar from its portfolio of contracts,” Rosneft said in an analyst presentation. In August, Rosneft had indicated its shares in upstream projects in Venezuela and working offtake contracts with Venezuela oil firm PDVSA would provide it with significant operational synergies in India and help improve the refinery’s economics. “We are researching the market in terms of identifying the synergies and, respectively, we shall see the results pro-rata to our ownership, I believe in the second half of 2018. We indeed will start showing the net income coming from Essar in the first quarter, and I believe that the cash flow from this asset we will see in 2018 — most probably in the second half of 2018 based on the results of the financial year, which is slightly different in terms of the period from ours," officials from Rosneft told analysts in a call last month.