Petronet in talks with Algeria for importing LNG

Petronet LNG Ltd, India?s largest liquefied natural gas importer, is in talks with Sonatrach of Algeria for a 25-year contract to import 1.25 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

?Petronet LNG will shortly sign a long-term contract for import of 1.25 million tonnes of LNG per annum for 25 years,? Algeria?s Ambassador to India Noureddine Bardad-Daidj said at Assocham?s 10th Energy Summit said on 28 Septemberhere today.

While the Ambassador did not give any further details, Petronet officials said the company was in talks with Algeria?s national oil company Sonatrach for import of LNG from its under-construction Skikda LNG terminal. The 4.5- million-tonne LNG export terminal would come up by 2011.

The diplomat said Algeria holds world?s fifth largest gas reserves and is fourth largest exporter of LNG (behind Indonesia, Malaysia and Qatar), exporting around 13 per cent of the world?s total. The vast majority of Algeria?s LNG exports go to Western Europe, especially France, Spain and Turkey.

Petronet officials said the agreement was not likely before next year and supplies would commence in 2011.

The company currently imports 5 million tons a year of LNG from RasGas of Qatar on a long-term contract. Besides importing spot LNG cargoes, it is also in talks to import LNG from the Chevron-operated Gorgon liquefaction project in Australia. Volumes are expected to come from the 25 per cent capacity share being marketed by partner Exxon Mobil.

Source: Mint, New Delhi, September 29, 2007
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