Singh said plans are to expand the company’s refining capacity to 150 million tons of oil derivatives annually from the current 80.7 million tons by 2030.
“As the leading refiner in the country and a dominant player across a diverse portfolio of offerings in energy, IOC is focussing on all emerging opportunities for organic and inorganic growth through vertical integration and strategic diversification, besides pursuing value-creating research areas,” the executive said.
Some of the projects that make up the investment strategy are already underway, but the majority have yet to be launched. These will include the upgrade of existing IOC refineries as well as the construction of new processing facilities. The largest among them will be the Ratnagiri refinery and petrochemical complex, on which IOC has partnered with Saudi Aramco and Emirati Adnoc.
The Ratnagiri refinery will have an annual capacity of 60 million tons of crude oil and will cost US$44 billion. Half of this will be provided by Aramco and Adnoc as the two seek to secure future markets for their crude oil.
The expansion strategy will also involve growing IOC’s pipeline network, which at the end of the period will stand at 20,000 km, Singh also said.
India is the world’s leader in crude oil demand growth, importing most of the oil it consumes. The country’s demand for fuels in June rose 8.6 percent, with consumption hitting 17.99 million tons, according to statistical data for that month released in July. The upward trend is expected to continue.
Still, IOC is not relying exclusively on oil: the refiner has begun branching out in natural gas, renewable energy, and EVs. Last month, Singh warned that if oil prices rise above US$80 a barrel soon, this will slow down Indian fuel demand growth, as robust demand growth forecasts for the period until 2040 are based on prices of US$83 for Brent in 2025 and US$113 in 2040.