British Petroleum (BP), Europe's third largest oil company, will soon be setting up its petrol pumps in India. This development comes after the Government of India granted a license to the firm for operating 3,500 petrol pumps in the country. BP Plc has thus become the 10th company to enter India's fuel retailing business. Earlier this year, BP had also earned an in-work approval for retailing Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) in India, which was later extended to a full approval. A spokesperson from the company's Indian arm had last month pointed towards their plans to enter the fuel retailing sector as well.
In 2011, BP entered into a partnership with Reliance Industries, under which the former bought a 30% stake in 23 oil and gas exploration blocks of the latter. The two companies also formed a 50:50 Joint Venture for sourcing and marketing of gas in the country. Currently there are 56,190 petrol pumps in the country, with majority of being operated under the realms of public-sector firms like Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). The two major private fuel retailers are Essar Oil and Reliance Industries, which cumulatively have around 3,500 pumps. Royal Dutch Shell is another private player with 82 petrol pumps.