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Crude oil imports pegged at 110 mt

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Qatar may supply LNG for Ratnagiri Power

LNG Watch
Australia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia, besides Qatar, are being looked at for additional LNG supplies by India, which is currently facing a 50 per cent shortfall.

THE ROADSHOW: (From left) Mr M.S. Srinivasan, Secretary, Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Gas; Mr Dinsha Patel, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas; Mr S. Behuria, Chairman, IOC; and Mr Mukesh Rohatgi, Chairman and Managing Director, Engineers India Ltd; at the NELP roadshow in the Capital on Friday. - Kamal Narang

New Delhi , March 10

India is likely to import 110 million tonnes of crude oil in 2006-07 (April-March), the Petroleum Secretary, Mr M.S. Srinivasan, said. "Our crude oil import is projected to increase to 110 million tonnes," he told media persons on the sidelines of the promotional road show for the sixth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) here. The Government estimates the domestic demand for oil products in the next financial year at around 118 million tonnes compared with 112 million this year, he said.

India's oil product exports in the next financial year are expected to touch 21 million tonnes, up from 18 million tonnes in the current year.

As regards supply of LNG for the Ratnagiri Power and Gas Ltd (RP&GL), Mr Srinivasan said Qatar had indicated its willingness to help India meet its requirement of 2.2 million tonnes of LNG for RP&GL, formerly known as the Dabhol power plant. The supplies are expected from December. Stating that the talks were progressing well, Mr Srinivasan said Rasgas had agreed to supply an additional 2.2 million tonnes of LNG, which is the requirement for full operation of the 2,150-MW Ratnagiri plant.

This is to be a short-term supply for two-and-a-half years till mid 2009 by which time GAIL (India) Ltd should have tied up long-term supplies.

By mid-2009 there is expected to be some spurt in global LNG production followed by the next increase in production expected in 2011-12. Australia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia, besides Qatar, are being looked at for additional LNG supplies by India, which is currently facing a 50 per cent shortfall. The Secretary, however, declined to comment on the price. "We hope to start receiving the LNG supplies for the Ratnagiri terminal by December. It depends on our preparedness to receive that LNG. We are gearing up for that," he added.

The work on the Ratnagiri terminal, which is of five million tonnes capacity, would be monitored on a fortnightly basis to ensure its preparedness by November to begin trial runs before the first shipment arrives from Qatar in December.

Earlier, speaking at the road show, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Dinsha Patel, said, "Our adverse demand and supply position for petroleum products and gas has led us to take several measures to augment the availability of oil and gas. Some of the key steps taken include increasing domestic exploration by offering more and more areas under the NELP."

One of the attractive features of NELP is that the companies had been given freedom to market oil and gas in India at market-determined prices, he said.

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