HPCL eyeing oil blocks in Africa

"We are securing blocks in Australia, Oman and Egypt. We are looking at assets in African countries as well," Choudhari told reporters after the completion of the company's AGM here.

He, however, did not divulge any further details.

According to HPCL Director-Refineries, K Murali, the company does not have much of an expertise in exploration. So, in a strategic change, the company is now looking at blocks where the discovery has already happened.

"Considering our lack of expertise in the field of exploration, we have changed our strategy to buying blocks where oil is already discovered. Though it may cost more, the financing is easier," he told PTI.

While relocating the Mumbai refinery to Ratnagiri, HPCL will be under possession of 350-acres of land in Mumbai estimated at Rs 17,500 crore, Choudhari said.

"We have no plans to sell it as of now. We will take a decision on this land at an appropriate time," he said.

The approximate Gross Refining Margin (GRM) of the existing Mumbai refinery is USD 3.5 per barrel while the company expects to earn a GRM of USD 10-12 from the new facility coming up in Ratnagiri, he said.

HPCL is aggressively into city gas, he said, adding the company has tie-ups with GAIL and other state-run facilities and is looking for more agreements.

The company has earmarked a capex of Rs 1,000 crore for the city gas project, Choudhari said.

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