BPCL’s EoI deadline ends Monday, several global giants may give a miss

Bharat Petroleum Disinvestment

New Delhi: As the much-anticipated BPCL privatisation process enters its next phase with the deadline for bid submission ending on Monday, industry sources said that several global energy giants including BP and Saudi Aramco may not bid for the state-run oil major.

Industry sources said that Total and Russian giant Rosneft are also not interested to bid in the current subdued market conditions.

The Centre has put its entre 52.98 per cent stake in the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on the block.

However, the profit-making oil major has not received interest as anticipated due to low oil prices, coupled with poor demand.

Industry sources, however, said that Reliance Industries (RIL) and UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) may bid for the state-run oil major.

ADNOC already has footprint in India as it is the only overseas company that has crude stored in Indian caverns.

The process of the BPCL’s strategic sale has been impacted due to the pandemic and the deadline for submission of bids has been postponed four times. The previous deadline was September 30.

It has not received interest as anticipated due to low oil prices coupled with poor demand.

The Centre has allowed bidders of privatisation-bound PSU refiner to submit their interest for the company electronically through e-mail to prevent restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 from impacting the sell-off process.

The government is selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL to a strategic investor to mobilise around Rs 50,000 crore as disinvestment receipt. This will help in containing the country’s rising fiscal deficit that is slated to these clauses to eight per cent of GDP due to adverse impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

The government is also keen to complete the deal within FY21 as disinvestment proceeds from it would help the government inch closer to this year’s ambitious disinvestment target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore. So far, just over Rs 5,000 crore have been mobilised.

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