NEW DELHI (Dow Jones)–India will look to increase imports of crude oil, liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas from Qatar in the coming years, Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy said Monday.
“India imported 5.6 million [metric] tons of oil from Qatar in [the] 2010-11 [fiscal year]. In the years ahead, with our energy requirements growing, we will look for larger quantities of LNG, crude oil and LPG,” Reddy said at an event celebrating the founding of Petronet LNG Ltd. (532522.BY), India’s top LNG importer by volume.
Qatari Energy & Industry Minister Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada said the country was “reviewing” its commitment on supplies to India. “We would like to continue and widen our relations.” Reddy told reporters India was yet to decide on the quantum of additional crude and LNG imports. “Qatar has been our trusted, friendly supplier, so we are seeking more supplies.”
India meets 80% of its crude needs through imports and has been seeking additional shipments from suppliers amid western countries on Iran, its second-biggest source. Iran accounts for 10% of its imports. Indian refiners are also adding capacity amid rising domestic demand for refined products.
Petronet LNG, which gets 7.5 million tons of LNG from Qatar under a long-term supply contract, is seeking 3 million tons of additional super-cooled fuel, Managing Director A.K. Balyan told Dow Jones Newswires.
The company is in the process of expanding its 10-million-ton-a-year LNG terminal at Dahej in the western state of Gujarat to 15 million tons a year. It is building a 5-million-ton terminal at Kochi in the southern state of Kerala. Qatar, which holds the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves after Russia and Iran, has an LNG export capacity of 77 million tons a year.
-By Rakesh Sharma, Dow Jones Newswires