BP flying high with Indian aviation fuel plans

Vol 20, PW 2 (06 Oct 16) Midstream & Downstream

After sinking $7.2bn into an E&P partnership with Reliance, global major BP is turning its attention to something it hopes will prove more lucrative.

PETROWATCH learns BP is drawing up a business plan to enter the Indian jet fuel market, after winning a licence in February 2016. "We're pleased to have received the ATF (jet fuel) licence," confirms a BP spokeswoman, "and are evaluating opportunities to expand our business.

BP sees a great future for aviation in India and is excited to be involved in this market and contribute to its future development and success." BP won the licence despite two earlier rejections in March and November 2015. At that time the government was not convinced it had met the necessary investment threshold.

Very soon, expect to see BP's unmistakable logo at the Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad airports where the government has declared 'open access' for all jet fuel vendors and which together account for 50% of market volume. "First BP must arrange fuel, pay fees to airport operators and join up with companies that transport fuel from storage tanks to airplanes," says an observer.

India's jet fuel market is described by BP as the ninth largest in the world. Current demand at around 6m t/y is expected to grow 11% in 2016-17, up from 7.5% the previous year.

BP's entry will be through its arm Air BP, operating at 800 locations worldwide.