Sigh of relief as ministry backs PSUs over storage facilities

Vol 7, PW 16 (22 Oct 03) News in Brief

Good news for state refiners Indian Oil, Bharat and Hindustan Petroleum.

They won't be forced to share their storage, marketing and import terminal facilities with the private sector. Nor will they be forced to share their storage and fuelling systems at airports.

We understand the oil ministry has rejected a parliamentary recommendation to make available PSU storage facilities to the private sector under the 'common carrier' principle. Most affected will be Reliance, Essar, Shell and Mangalore Refinery who are aggressively pursuing retail marketing strategies for the sale of petrol and diesel across India.

Reliance and Essar had lobbied hard to use airport storage and fuelling systems built and operated by PSUs so they could compete in selling jet fuel. Of 49 parliamentary recommendations to amend the proposed Petroleum Regulatory Board Bill, 2002, Shastri Bhawan has accepted 29, rejected two and will include the rest when the Bill is next debated during the winter session beginning November.