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India has invited bids from global oil firms and traders to lease out capacity in the newly built underground strategic oil storage at Padur in Karnataka.
India, which is 80 per cent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, has built three underground oil storages at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mangalore and Padur in Karnataka as insurance against supply disruptions.
Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL), under the administrative jurisdiction of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, has built strategic storages at three locations.
"ISPRL, on behalf of Government of India, has invited preliminary Expression of interest from reputed, companies/ traders/ financial institutions/ multinational companies either individually or as a consortium, interested in storing crude oil in any one or more compartments of the storage facility at Padur," an official statement said.
The four compartments at Padur provide a total storage capacity of 19.4 million bBarrels (MMbbl).
The underground rock cavern storages at Visakhapatnam and Mangalore have already been commissioned. Padur facility is expected to be ready for crude filling in the first quarter of 2017, the statement said.
"The Padur facility is connected to the 15 million tons per annum oil refinery of Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) which is proposed to be expanded to 21 million tons per annum soon," it added.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had last week informed the Parliament that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Saudi Aramco of Saudi Arabia and Royal Dutch Shell have evinced interest in hiring strategic oil storages at Mangalore.
Pradhan had said under Strategic Petroleum Reserve project Phase-I, underground rock caverns for storage of 5.33 million tons of crude oil at three locations -- Vishakhapatnam (1.33 million tons), Mangalore (1.50 million tons) and Padur (2.5 million tons) have been created.
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