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India gas imports to rise on lower global prices – Petronet

Monday, 23 January 2023 | 13:00

India’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports are set to recover as global prices ease, the chief executive of the country’s top gas importer Petronet LNG Ltd said.

Asian spot LNG prices have fallen due to mild weather in Europe and ample inventories, from an average of $30-$35 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the December quarter to around $17/mmBtus, A.K. Singh said.

India wants to raise the share of gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from 6.2% at present. However, a spike in global gas prices last year, triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, cut demand for cleaner fuel from price-sensitive Indian customers.

“Now the export cargoes are hovering at $17 (million British thermal units). We definitely expect that we will get the movement of more cargoes coming to our country.” Singh said at the company’s earnings press conference.

“In previous months it was a lot of volatility,” he added.

India’s gas imports in October and November declined by about a fifth to about 1.8 million tonnes from this fiscal year’s peak of 2.2 million tonnes in May, according to government data. Data for December has not yet been released.

Due to low local demand, Petronet operated its 17.5 million tonnes a year Dahej LNG terminal on the west coast at 68% capacity in the December quarter. The capacity use has improved to 81% and is expected to rise further as global prices ease, Singh said.

Petronet supplies gas, mostly procured under long-term deals with Qatar and Australia, to Indian energy companies for sale to end-users. These companies have also booked capacity at Dahej to import gas directly.

In the previous quarter, Petronet levied an 8.5 billion rupee ($104.80 million) penalty on Indian companies for not taking the committed volumes of gas from its Dahej import facility, Singh said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nidhi Verma. Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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