A consortium led by Oil India and Engineers India, both PSU companies, proposes to buy a 48% stake in BPCL’s Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. Currently, BPCL holds 61.65% stake in NRL while Oil India holds 26% while the government of Assam owns the balance 12.35%. The consortium will pay a sum of Rs.5500 crore approximately for the stake.

BPCL is one of the prime divestment candidates for the government but could not take off due to unfavourable market conditions. BPCL, as part of this strategy, had already carved out Numaligarh Refineries Ltd from BPCL. Oil India board is yet to decide on how much the company would be investing in NRL as part of this deal due to weak global oil prices.

Oil India and Engineers India will be acquiring 48% of BPCL stake. The bidders have also confirmed that NRL's stake sale was purely linked with that of the government's stake sale in BPCL and hence would happen simultaneously. BPCL currently has a market cap of Rs.85,316 crore and the government stake of 53% will be worth Rs.45,200 crore.

It may be recollected that Numaligarh Refinery was set up at Numaligarh in the Golaghat district of Assam under the Assam Accord signed in 1985 between Rajiv Gandhi and the AGP. Currently, the capacity of NRL is being expanded from 3 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) to 9 MMTPA entailing an investment of Rs.22,594 crore.