Oil trader Trafigura has made its first move into refining in Asia, investing up to $130 million for a 24% stake in Nagarjuna Oil Corp Ltd's (NOCL) planned refinery in southern India and replacing BP as NOCL's crude supplier.
India and other emerging markets are boosting refining capacity to feed rising regional demand, while their counterparts in the United States and Europe restructure or shut plants as fuel sales slow.
This is the first direct investment in the refining business by Trafigura Pte Ltd, a unit of the world's third largest crude oil trader Trafigura Beheer BV, which has so far invested in the refining business through its unit, Puma Energy LLC.
"With BP, Nagarjuna Oil had a commercial agreement for crude supplies and export of products but Trafigura has come as a strategic investor ... they are buying a stake in the project," said a source privy to the deal.
"There can be only one strategic investor in the project. BP is not there now," the source said.
He said Trafigura will have marketing rights for its share of refined fuels from the 120,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) plant - India's third privately owned coastal refinery after Essar Oil and Reliance Industries, owner of the world's biggest refining complex.
"Geographically, the facility is well positioned to receive crude oil from Trafigura's international producer partners," Trafigura said in a statement.