In a bid to bring in more private companies, the Centre is planning to relax rules for setting up petrol pumps across the country. It has already formed an expert panel to recommend easing of fuel retailing licensing rules, the Oil Ministry said.
The committee has been asked to prepare a report within two months after due consultations with stakeholders.According to the existing rules, a company needs to invest Rs 2,000 crore in either hydrocarbon exploration and production, refining, pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to obtain a fuel retailing licence in India.
The oil ministry said the panel will "review the existing architecture and extent of private sector participation in retail marketing of major transportation fuels in the country".
Over the years, many foreign fuel companies are eyeing to invest in India as it is considered as one of the major international markets.
Who are existing players in the market:
# State-owned oil marketing companies - Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).
# Together, they own most of 63,498 petrol pumps in the country.# IOC is the market leader with 27,325 petrol pumps.# HPCL has 15,255 outlets, while 0BPCL has 14,565 fuel stations.
# Reliance Industries, Nayara Energy - formerly Essar Oil - and Royal Dutch Shell are the private players.
# Reliance has less than 1,400 outlets.
# Nayara has 4,833, while Shell has only 114 pumps.
According to Mint, British oil major BP Plc and RIL are planning to jointly set up as many as 2,000 petrol pumps in India over the next three years. Two years back, BP plc had secured a licence to set up 3,500 pumps but hasn't yet started doing so.
Last week, French energy giant Total in a joint venture with Adani Group announced plans to set up 1,500 petrol pumps in the next 10 years.
(With PTI inputs)