Qatar tells Indian ambassador it canآ’t sell more LNG

Vol 9, PW 8 (28 Jul 05) Midstream & Downstream

Qatar is making it increasingly clear to India that it is unable to supply more than the 7.5m t/y LNG already committed by RasGas to Petronet-LNG.

Clear indications to this effect were given this month to Ranjan Mathai, Indias outgoing ambassador in Qatar. Mathai was making his farewell calls when he was told that India should not expect more than 7.5m t/y from Qatar, we learn.

Qatar feels it is already overexposed on the LNG supply front. Qatari officials told Mathai that the Gulf state needs two years to conduct studies on the impact of the rapid extraction of gas on the North Field reservoir.

During his visit to Delhi in early May, the Emir of Qatar failed to give clear assurances that Qatar could supply a total 20m t/y LNG by 2012. Soon after, Indias oil ministry wrote three letters to Qatar.

One letter related to a proposed gas pipeline, reveals a source. Another requested more LNG and the third was on deepening bilateral energy sector co-operation.

Qatar, it seems, didnt reply to any of the letters but raised the issues during Mathais farewell calls on the Emir. Slowly, the message is getting through that Qatar cant deliver more LNG.

Of the 7.5 m t/y committed by Qatar to India in the agreement with Petronet-LNG, 5 m t/y is being supplied to Dahej and the rest was originally meant for Kochi. India wants the LNG originally meant for Kochi to be diverted to Dahej.

Dahej capacity is now 5m t/y but it can actually take another 1.2m t/y without any de-bottlenecking operations, we are told. Theres still a huge unmet demand in the northern region.

When Dahej capacity is doubled to 10m t/y, the terminal will be able actually handle about 13m t/y LNG.