India invites Qatar to invest in LNG projects

India has invited the biggest exporter of LNG, Qatar to invest in LNG projects in the country as it is seeking to boost the share of the fuel in its energy mix.

India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan met on Tuesday with Qatar’s energy minister Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada at the sidelines of 5th IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum being held in New Delhi.

During the meeting, Pradhan invited Qatar to invest in gas infrastructure, petrochemical and LNG projects in India.

India’s LNG imports have been rising steadily this year after India’s Petronet LNG signed a revised long-term contract with RasGas of Qatar. The world’s fourth largest LNG importer could save up to $3 billion due to the revised deal.

However, the share of natural gas in India’s primary energy basket is only at about 6.5 percent, Pradhan said in his opening speech at the Ministerial Gas Forum.

According to Pradhan, India has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in its energy mix from the current level to 15 percent.

“This means annual gas consumption would accelerate from about 50 BCM to above 200 BCM in future.”

Pradhan said that a shift towards a gas-based economy would require boosting domestic production and buying cheap LNG, as well as more investment in pipelines and LNG import terminals.

Talking about the international collaboration in the area of natural gas, Pradhan said that “the world needs even greater co-operation among countries on gas technologies, such as shale and gas hydrates.”

“Similarly, a number of large Asian LNG buyers, including India, could benefit by joining hands and thereby, possibly, bring in more equitable trade deals,” he said.

The Minister also pointed out that LNG prices have been soft over the past 18-24 months, much in tandem with crude prices.

“LNG contracting mechanisms are changing with short term contracts growing and replacing long-term contracts,” Pradhan said.


LNG World News Staff

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