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BP, Reliance proceed with JV for retail, aviation fuels network in India

Following a heads of agreement signed in early August, oil major BP PLC and Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. struck a definitive agreement to form a joint venture that includes a retail service station network and aviation fuels marketing across India.

Reliance will hold a 51% stake in the joint venture company and the remaining 49% will be held by BP, according to a Dec. 16 news release. The new company will assume ownership of Reliance's Indian fuel retail network and access its aviation fuel business.

The venture would expand Reliance's more than 1,400 retail sites and 30 aviation fuel stations to up to 5,500 retail sites and 45 aviation fuel stations over the next five years.

"India is one of the world's most important energy markets its transport and aviation sectors are growing and evolving rapidly," said BP Group CEO and executive director Robert Dudley. "We aim to meet the country's growing demand for mobility solutions, high-quality fuels and services through this new venture."

The venture is expected to be formed in the first half of 2020, subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.

Financial details were not disclosed.