(EnergyAsia, June 28) — French energy major Total is considering investing in refinery projects in India and also wants to enter the country’s retail oil sector, India’s Financial Express reported.


Total would prefer investing in projects together with Indian oil firms, said Gary Jones, Total senior vice president for refining and marketing in Asia.


He told the newspaper: “Furthering our existing investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), lubricants and other specialities, we are exploring opportunities in refining and marketing to strengthen our position in India.”


The Indian government said foreign companies must invest at least US$450 million as a condition for entering the country’s retail market.


To date, Total has invested more than US$200 million in LNG, LPG and lubricants projects in India. Its investments include a joint venture with HPCL for the construction of a LPG import terminal and an underground storage terminal at Vishakhapatnam.


Also, Total and Shell recently started up their joint Hazira LNG import terminal and port.


However, the Financial Express also noted that Total’s plans to invest in Indian refining might have become more difficult after New Delhi decided not to sell off its stakes in the country’s state-owned oil companies.


Total, Europe’s largest oil refining and marketing company, holds interests in 28 refineries and 16,000 service stations all over the world.