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India prepared to grant 50% stake to Aramco in west coast refinery: Sources

Representatives of Aramco held a marathon meeting with their counterparts from Indian companies on Tuesday

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

Saudi Aramco
A Saudi Aramco employee sits near the Saudi Aramco stand at the Middle East Petrotech 2016 in Manama, Bahrain

is set to grant a 50 percent stake in a planned 1.2 million barrels per day refinery, said an industry source privy to the deal, in a move that would give the kingdom a new stable outlet for its

A deal could be announced as early as Wednesday during Saudi minister Khalid Al-Falih's visit to New to attend the International Forum, a source, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the talks, told

Aramco, like other major producers, wants to tap rising demand growth and invest in the world's third-biggest consumer. Last year it opened an office in has so far outlined plans to expand its refining capacity by 77 percent to about 8.8 million bpd by 2030.

"There are some last minute negotiations on small issues, but both countries are almost ready to announce a deal today," the source told

was not immediately reachable for comment.

Representatives of held a marathon meeting with their counterparts from Indian companies on Tuesday.

Indian companies - Indian , and - have floated a joint-venture & Petrochemicals (RRPL), to build the proposed refinery in the western state of

B. Ashok, of RRPL, who attended the meeting declined to comment.

Aramco, the world's biggest producer is moving to invest in refineries overseas to help lock in demand for its crude, and expand its market share ahead of an initial public offering next year.

During his previous visit to in February, Falih had said would also sign supply deals as part of the agreement to buy stakes in Indian refineries, a strategy the kingdom has adopted to expand its market share in and fend off rivals.

Last year, pledged billions of dollars of investments in refinery projects in and which came with crude supply deals.

The kingdom is competing with to be India's top supplier, with having displaced it for the first time on an annual basis in 2017, data compiled by showed.

First Published: Wed, April 11 2018. 07:17 IST