America's dirty secret: India becomes the gasoline gusher


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Jan 16, 2003
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"Sitting on the edge of the water in the Gulf of Kutch on India's western shore is one of America's dirty secrets. A mass of steel pipes and concrete boxes stretches across 13 square miles (33sq km) - a third of the area of Manhattan - which will eventually become the world's largest petrochemical refinery."

"The products from the Jamnagar complex are for foreign consumption. When complete, the facility will be able to refine 1.24m barrels of crude a day. Two-fifths of this gasoline will be sent 9,000 miles (15,000km) by sea to America"

"First the oil being produced from the world's hydrocarbon reservoirs was increasingly "sour", or heavy, full of sulphur and other impurities that older refineries could not cope with."

"Second was that no new capacity was being built around the world. Environmental concerns and the rising costs of infrastructure projects discouraged the oil majors from putting up refineries in Europe and America. No new oil refinery has been built in the US since the 1980s as environmental legislation has tightened."

"Third was Reliance's belief that Asian economies would become dynamos of world growth - inevitably increasing demand for petro-products. It also saw that many European countries wanted cleaner petroleum, which required complex refining techniques. According to its strategists, commercial logic dictated that new, hi-tech refineries would be needed - and soon. Reliance, Mr Meswani says, decided to build big."

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