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India may import LNG from Australia

india Updated: Jul 14, 2006 15:54 IST
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India is likely to sign a deal in September to import 2.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia, Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan said.

"We have finalised import of 2.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Australia's Gorgon Project and expect to ink final documents in mid-September," he said at a roadshow organised by Australia to promote its latest offering of 36 oil and gas areas for bidding.

Though Srinivasan said Australian LNG was expected at Petronet LNG Ltd's under-construction Kochi terminal in Kerala in second half of 2009, a top PLL source said supplies from Gorgon project, which is jointly promoted by Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and Shell, would be delayed due to some issues on environmental clearance.

"The expected date of commencement of supply of 2.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Gorgon to Kochi terminal will be April 2011," the source said.

However, this delay would not affect the completion of Kochi terminal in mid-2009. PLL is at an advanced stage of finalising 2.2 million tonnes per annum for a short term period of one-and-half year effective 2009 and this quantity would be available till supplies commence from Gorgon project.

Besides Australia, Petronet LNG, jointly owned by Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and GAIL (India) Ltd, is in talks with Qatar, Oman and Abu Dhabi for additional LNG.

PLL currently imports 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from RasGas of Qatar and this volume will go up to 7.5 million tonnes in 2008.