Qatar agrees to supply additional LNG

Qatar has agreed to supply additional 2.5 million tonne per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas to India from June 2009. Speaking to newspersons the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, Mr Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, said "India is currently importing 5 MTPA LNG from Qatar and this will increase to 7.5 MTPA from June 2009."

The Energy Minister of Qatar was speaking after his meeting with the Petroleum Minister, Mr Murli Deora. Stating that India is today the single largest customer for Qatar LNG, he also indicated that discussions for short-term supply of 1.25 MTPA of LNG for the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Project through Petronet LNG Ltd was going on.

Both India and Qatar have to come to an agreement over pricing. According to official sources, "RasGas has agreed in principle to supply 1.25 MTPA of LNG from March 2007 to early 2009.''

Indications are that Qatar was favourably inclined to consider India's request for supply. Sources said, while RasGas marginally lowered its earlier offer price to about $8 per million British thermal unit (mBtu), the Indian firm was willing to pay no more than $5.5 per mBtu. The Petronet's Dahej terminal already receives 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from RasGas under a separate long-term contract.

Earlier, the Qatari Energy Minister called on the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. During the interaction, the Prime Minister referred to the discussions currently underway between the Qatar Investment Authority and the Indian companies - Petronet, NTPC, ONGC and EIL. The Qatari mentioned that discussions with regard to Qatari Investment Agencies participation including equity stakes in the Indian companies were progressing and were likely to be finalised shortly.

Source: Business Line, New Delhi
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