BP chief may call on PM, FM during 2-day India visit | delhi | Hindustan Times
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BP chief may call on PM, FM during 2-day India visit

Close on getting approval for investing $7.2 billion in Reliance Industries' oil and gas properties, BP Plc chief executive Bob Dudley is likely to arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday on a two-day visit to India.

delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2011 19:56 IST

Close on getting approval for investing $7.2 billion in Reliance Industries' oil and gas properties, BP Plc chief executive Bob Dudley is likely to arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday on a two-day visit to India.

Like his visit soon after taking over as the chief executive of Europe's second biggest oil company in October last year, Dudley is likely to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sources privy to the development said.

Accompanied by Reliance chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani, he is scheduled to meet oil minister S Jaipal Reddy in the forenoon on Wednesday and several others before ending the day with a dinner hosted by British High Commission in New Delhi.

Dudley and Ambani are likely to call on finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, commerce minister Anand Sharma and former oil minister Murli Deora among others.

The next day, Dudley flies to Krishna Godavari basin, home to Reliance's crownjewel KG-D6 gas fields which have been at the centre of BP's $7.2 billion investment in buying 30% stake in 23 oil and gas properties held by the Mukesh Ambani firm.

Ambani is likely to host a dinner for Dudley on Thursday evening at his residence in Mumbai.

Sources said Dudley's visit is more of a thanks giving on conclusion of the $7.2 billion deal and a possible kick-off for a partnership with Reliance.

Though the government had after nearly six months given its go ahead to the deal last month, BP has not yet formally been inducted as amendments to the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) are yet to be approved and signed by the upstream oil regulator DGH.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had on July 22 cleared the sale of stake by RIL to BP in 21 blocks, including the showpiece eastern offshore KG-D6 gas producing area and discovery area NEC-25. However, it held back the same for two inconsequential blocks -- one a deep sea area off the Orissa coast and the other an onland block in Assam -- over technical issues.

The formal letter conveying the approval was however sent only in August.

The deal, which might increase in value to $20 billion on the basis of future performance payments and investment, will give Reliance access to BP's expertise in deepwater drilling and accelerate development and production from its fields, particularly the under-performing KG-D6 block in the eastern offshore.

For BP, which has been struggling to recover from the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster last year, the transaction is a chance to enter a market where energy demand is growing at 5-8%.