Price war on the cards in India as BP's plans come together

In January this year BP got in-principle approval and licence to set up 3,500 fuel outlets in India in partnership with established retailer RIL

RIL holds licences to set up 5,000 fuel outlets. So far, it has set up about 1,500 filling stations, of which over 1,000 are operational. Industry sources said several marketing options were being considered to capture the fuel retail market.

Apart from dynamic pricing, the company is looking at the option of setting up motels, convenience stores and café with WiFis. Also, to cater to commercial goods transporters and truckers, highway pumps will have resting and eating places and vehicle servicing outlets.

Within the city, there are plans to introduce dynamic pricing, which means the cost of a product could be flexible. Analysts said the entry of new players in fuel retailing will soon cause a price war at petrol pumps, benefiting consumers of petrol and diesel in line with the prevailing international practice.

RIL and BP are also partners in India Gas Solutions, an equal joint venture for sourcing and marketing gas in the country. Besides, BP sells automotive and industrial lubricant brand Castrol in India.