ALSO READIndia ready to give Saudi Aramco 50 percent stake in planned mega refinery - source India prepared to give Saudi Aramco 50 percent stake in planned mega refinery - source Saudi Aramco considers buying stake in Indian refineries Saudi Aramco looking to buy stake in existing Indian refineries Saudi Aramco to buy 50% stake in $44-bln oil refinery in Maharashtra
By Nidhi Verma, Promit Mukherjee and Florence Tan
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is set to grant Saudi Aramco a 50 percent stake in a planned 1.2 million-barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, said an industry source with knowledge of the deal, a move that would give the kingdom a new outlet for its oil.
A preliminary agreement will be announced on Wednesday during a visit by Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih and Aramco CEO Amin Nasser's to New Delhi, two separate sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Falih is attending the International Energy Forum in Delhi.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed by Nasser on Wednesday, the sources said.
India outlined plans in February 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," the first source told Reuters.
Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Representatives of Aramco held a marathon meeting with their counterparts from Indian companies on Tuesday.
Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil 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 that is expected later this or next year.
During a visit to Delhi in February, Falih had said Saudi Arabia would also sign oil 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 Asia and fend off rivals.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)