The government, which is selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake in India’s second largest oil refining and marketing company, had on four occasions extended the date of putting in the preliminary expression of interest (EoI). The current deadline is November 16.
Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had last month said there would be no further extension.
Industry sources said BP as well as Total are unlikely to bid for the stake and there are reports of even Russian energy giant Rosneft or its affiliates and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) not very keen on bidding given the asking price of close to $10 billion required to buy the firm at a time when the world is moving away from conventional fuel. Also, the pandemic has led to demand destruction of conventional fuels and may hasten transition towards cleaner fuels such as hydrogen and battery-operated EVs.