In a major development, Qatar on Sunday agreed to supply India up to 4 million tons of additional LNG to meet its growing energy needs.
The world's largest LNG exporter will begin with one million ton of supplies in 2011 and ramp it up to 4 million tons by 2014.
"These will be 15-20 year contracts," Qatar's Energy Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah told reporters after an hour long meeting with Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.
"India is on top of my agenda. We are always committed to meeting India's needs," he said.
India currently imports 7.5 million tons of LNG every year from Qatar's RasGas under a long-term deal. The additional fuel would be imported at Petronet LNG Ltd's under-construction Kochi LNG terminal and almost ready Dabhol receiving facility on the western coast.
Qatar is having surplus LNG after its principal importers US and Europe cut imports.
"These are cargoes that are being diverted from US and Europe (who have cut imports on falling demand)," he said. But there were sharp differences on price. Qatar is seeking a price of 13.5-15.5% of JCC (Japanese Crude Cocktail) while New Delhi was looking for a fixed price, like the previous sweetheart deal.