Bengaluru, June 18 (PTI) Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said Russian oil giant Rosneft planned to tap the retail fuel market in India in a big way.

“Rosneft, the Russian oil major, who recently took over Essar Oil, are planning in a bigway to tap retail fuel market in India,” he told reporters after inaugurating City Gas Distribution (CGD) Project to supply eco-friendly natural gas to households, industries and transport sector, here.’ Three days back, Reliance Industries and its partner BP plc had announced investment of USD 6 billion in developing new gas fields in the KG-D6 block after an eight-year hiatus.

The firms also agreed on a strategic cooperation on new opportunities for conventional and unconventional fuel trading and marketing, including jointly setting up petrol pumps.

Asked about the size of investment to be made by Rosneft and Essar to tap the fuel retailing market, Pradhan said both companies had invested USD 13 billion in Indian market in the last fiscal.

“This was one of the biggest deals in the oil industry in the world,” he added.

In the beginning of the second quarter of this year, BP and RIL had announced more than USD 6 billion investment in India, Pradhan said, adding this showed the progressive and nd reformative nature of the Narendra Modi governnment.

On the CGD project, he said it would be implemented by GAIL Gas Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited at an investment of Rs 6,283 crore.

The project would cover 4,395 sq km in urban and rural Bengaluru, broadly covering eight sectors – Nelamangala, Dod Ballapur, Devanahalli, Hosakote, Bengaluru East, Bengaluru North, Bengaluru South and Anekal, he said.

The project will provide economical,environment friedly, uninterrupted, safe and convenient energy to 106.12 lakh residents of Bengaluru by supplying Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for households, industries and commercial units, Pradhan said.

“This will significantly add to people s convenience as there will be no hassles of booking, advance payment, storage, handling of heavy weight cylinders and monitoring of cylinder delivery. Billing will be done once in two months based on consumption,” he added.

Moreover,with the setting up of 60 Compressed Natural Gas stations, the project would provide cheaper fuel for the transport sector and also facilitate a healthy lifestyle by creating a pollution-free environment, Pradhan said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.