Shell's new friends among PSU refiners

Vol 7, PW 10 (30 Jul 03) News in Brief

Indian state-owned refiners have given a guarded welcome to Shell's plans to enter the retail fuel market and some are even ready to do business with the Anglo-Dutch giant provided it does not undermine their business.

"Our prime concern in selling products to Shell is to ensure that such a move will strengthen our position in the market," reveals a HPCL official. All agree it does not make sense to play dirty with Shell.

"Delaying product supply to Shell will give us only a marginal reprieve," he adds. "Ultimately, they will enter the market with or without us." BPCL is keener to do business with Shell.

If Shell plans to import petroleum products, we dont mind a bi-lateral exchange, BPCL tells us. IOC is more guarded.

We know what Shell is doing in the south," an official tells us. "Go to Kochi and you will see arrangements for tankage in progress to store Shells imported fuel." Shell has made no secret that it might consider buying petroleum products locally.