India seeks LNG policy


NEW DELHI�India has set up a committee to formulate a comprehensive LNG policy encompassing all aspects of LNG, including supply, distribution, shipping, and imports.


NEW DELHI�India has set up a committee to formulate a comprehensive LNG policy encompassing all aspects of LNG, including supply, distribution, shipping, and imports.

In December, state firm Petronet LNG Ltd. signed LNG marketing agreements with Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL). The three firms had been vying separately to obtain the country's LNG marketing rights but reached a joint agreement instead. GAIL will be chief marketer at Petronet LNG's terminals at Dahej and Kochi, while IOC and BPCL will be subsidiary marketers in, respectively, the northern and southern regions. Petronet LNG will sell its LNG to the firms on a take-or-pay basis and will transfer its agreements with various power and fertilizer companies to the marketers.

Secretary of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry S. Narayan said that a number of suppliers are keen to import LNG and have sought clearance from the foreign investment promotion board. S.C. Mathur, managing director of Petronet LNG, envisions India as becoming one of the largest markets for LNG if the appropriate import infrastructure is developed within the country. Petronet is in the process of setting up a 5 million tonne/year terminal at Dahej and a 2.5 million tonne/year terminal at Kochi.

At present, LNG projects are in development only in Gujarat and Maharashtra states. Petronet and Dabhol Power Co. have already signed contracts for supplies of LNG to be imported into India.

Narayan wants all regions of the country to have access to LNG and LNG projects, because this will allow a level playing field among gas consumers. Prospective suppliers to India�s west coast are Qatar, Oman, Yemen, and Iran, while prospective suppliers to the east coast are Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia. Petronet will import LNG from Qatar and Oman.

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