Marking one of the major breakthroughs of President Mahinda Rajapakse`s recent visit to India the largest and one of the fastest growing private sector companies in India yesterday announced its plans to invest in Sri Lanka`s petroleum sector. Reliance Industries Ltd, one of the Fortune Global 500 companies would be one of the strong competitors among other international giants to enter into oil exploration activities in Sri Lanka.
The Company`s head of Interantional Operations Atul Chandra told the media in Colombo that the company will look at all possible areas of investment in the petroleum sector in Sri Lanka and from oil exploration to petroleum products retailing.
Chandra and the Vice President of the company`s International Business Development, Sailesh Mukherjee who held talks with officials of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the Petroleum Resource Development Committee had also expressed their interest to assist the local petroleum industry by way of technology transfer and training in oil exploration and refining. `Our history as far as oil exploration is concerned is only six years.
But we have proved our capability by taking the challenge of moving into deepwater oil exploration straight away. We think that we have a better understanding of the geology of Sri Lanka and can help the country to develop its petroleum sector,` Chandra said. The Reliance group of companies is also engaged in a wide range of business activities including infrastructure, telecom, insurance and energy sectors.
It owns the world`s third largest refinery in Jamnagar which has a capacity of 540,000 barrels per day.
The company is also operating in country`s such as Yemen, Oman and Colombia. The Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Prof. Laxman R. Watawala said Sri Lanka gives highest priority to India in future economic activities and the trade between the two countries will get a further boost with the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement coming into force.