India to ink LNG deal with Australia

India is likely to sign a $12.5-billion deal with Australia by the end of March to import 2.5 million tonnes (mt) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) every year for 25 years beginning mid-2010. ?We have concluded most of the agreements. A formal agreement can be signed as early as March-end,? petroleum secretary M.S. Srinivasan said. ?Supplies will begin around mid-2010,? he added.

Petronet LNG Ltd will import 2.5 million tonnes of LNG from Chevron-operated Gorgon gas field at a terminal that it is constructing at Kochi.
Chevron Australia has a mandate to sign a sale deal with Petronet by June 30, but a formal agreement can be inked within the next 60 days, he said.

Chevron is the operator of the project with a 50 per cent interest, with ExxonMobil and Shell each holding 25 per cent. The Greater Gorgon gas fields, located about 130 km off the north-west coast of western Australia, contain resources of about 40 trillion cubic feet of gas, Australia?s largest known undeveloped gas resource.

The project involves building two trains capable of producing a total of 10 mt per annum of LNG. About three shipments a week are expected to leave a dedicated LNG-loading jetty.

Sources said Petronet had, over the last year, concluded techno-commercial and legal agreements for the purchase of 2.5 mt of LNG from the Gorgon project. ?Final drafts are being exchanged and a formal agreement can be signed within the next couple of months,? a source said. Petronet imports 5 mt per annum of LNG from Qatar at its Dahej terminal in Gujarat.

Source: The Telegraph, New Delhi
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