Essar Oil Limited is a leading oil and gas company with operations across the hydrocarbon value chain. It has a strong presence in exploration, production, refining and oil retail. The company’s Vadinar refinery in Gujarat is aiming to earn an additional $1.5 (per barrel of crude) on its gross refinery margin (GRM) on the back of investments of Rs 16 billion. In September-October 2015, the company invested Rs 4 billion during a 28-day planned shutdown of the refinery. The shutdown involved not just routine inspection and maintenance, but also the conversion of the vacuum gas oil (VGO)-HT unit into a mild hydrocracker unit and the setting up of facilities to process high acid crudes. Post the shutdown, the refinery has been able to convert its entire VGO production into higher margin products. The company plans to further invest Rs 12 billion over the next two to three years to undertake additional upgrades at the refinery. The plans involve upgrading its naphtha hydro treater, isomerisation unit, continuous catalytic reformer units and facilities enabling further recovery of sulphur. Essar Oil Limited’s refinery margins have consistently remained above industry benchmarks. In the quarter ended June 30, 2016, the current price GRM (unaudited) of $10.29 per barrel was higher than the International Energy Agency margin for Singapore complex refineries by around $6 per barrel. They aim to further increase the GRM through these upgrades.