BP's strategy includes LNG for India

Vol 4, PW 18 (11 Oct 00) Midstream & Downstream

Surprising as it may sound, BP is also looking to place its LNG in India.

"Promotion of DME is part of a twin-track strategy that sees enough room in the country for both fuels", Sashi Mukundan, 43, Vice President, India Business Development, tells Petrowatch. According to BP, the reason for this gas-led push into India stems from a simple fact: before its merger with AMOCO and ARCO, gas accounted for just 18% of BP's portfolio of global assets.

Post merger, it accounts for more than 40%. Finding a home for that gas is today a top priority, and BP is actively scouting for LNG opportunities in India, "right down the value chain," from equity stakes in exisiting regassification projects, to gas pipeline infrastructure and power plants.

But which projects is it interested in The company admits it is talking to "many companies". Between the lines this implies BP will approach - if it hasn't already - the CMS Energy-led Dakshin Bharat Energy Consortium at Ennore, the Al Manhal venture in Orissa, and possibly Enron, Shell, Petronet-LNG and British Gas on the west coast.

Separate inquiries by Petrowatch reveal that in September this year BP also held detailed talks in London with an Iranian delegation on a proposal to ship Iranian LNG to India. Sourcing LNG should not be a problem.

BP has equity in LNG projects in Indonesia, the northwest shelf of Australia and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.