Indian Oil Corp may form Subsidiary for its Retail Assets to Help Unlock Value

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget for fiscal year from April, announced plan to monetise oil and gas pipeline assets of IOC, gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

Indian Oil may form subsidiary for retail assets to unlock value, the head of finance at India's largest refiner said on Tuesday, a day after the government announced plans to monetize IOC NSE 1.47 %'s pipeline assets.

"Presently it is not on our radar but a possibility of any such thing to unlock the value cannot be ruled out," Sandeep Kumar Gupta said on an analysts call when asked if IOC plans to hive off its fuel retailing business into a separate company.

IOC shares decreased by 27.6 per cent in 2020, while the broader Nifty 50 index increased by 14.9 per cent.

The IOC operates a pipeline network of 14,600 kilometres with a capacity to transport 94,42 million tonnes of crude oil and fuel per year and 21,69 million cubic metres of gas per day.

The company has not yet decided how to monetize its pipeline assets, said Gupta, adding IOC would keep them under control as they are critical to its operations and link ports and fuel storage facilities to refineries.

"One model could be InvIt (infrastructure investment trusts) and it is not necessary we do 100 percent stake sale of our (pipeline) assets together," he said.

Initially, IOC may sell stakes in one or two pipelines, he said.

The company would use the proceeds from the sale of stakes in new projects such as petrochemicals, renewable energy and hydrogen production.

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