Reliance and its honeymoon with Venezuela

Vol 4, PW 24 (17 Jan 01) People & Policy

Petroleos de Venezuela makes no secret of the fact that its favourite business partner in India is Reliance.

One trader even calls it a "marriage made in heaven." Hardly surprising, given the vast amounts of money Caracas is making out of the relationship. Reliance's 27m t/y refinery at Jamnagar has emerged as one of its biggest customers.

In the first week of February Jamnagar will receive its fourth Very Large Crude Carrier of Venezuelan crude, carrying 8m barrels of 'Leona 24', which set sail from Venezuela in the last week of December and is en route to India. In the next 12 months such exports will multiply.

At a December meeting in Caracas, DD Sen, Reliance's senior vice-president of supply and trading, and George Kamkoff, vice president refining, supply and trading at Petroleos de Venezuela signed a one-year contract for the supply of between 8-10 cargoes of Venezuelan crude to Jamnagar. Cooperation is also expected in other sectors.

We understand Petroleos will provide technical assistance to the Jamnagar refinery on a request from Reliance and is simultaneously asking Reliance to promote Orimulsion as a feedstock for the Indian power sector.