Qatar visit to India

Vol 15, PW 19 (05 Apr 12) News in Brief

Qatar ruler Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani will be in India on April 8 on a three-day visit during which he is expected to sign an ‘umbrella MoU’ to increase hydrocarbon cooperation.

On April 9, Indian president Pratibha Patil and PM Manmohan Singh will welcome the Emir with pomp and ceremony in the forecourt of Delhi’s presidential palace. Oil minister Jaipal Reddy will attend delegation-level talks between PM Manmohan Singh and the Qatari ruler.

In total, seven MoUs will be signed between the two countries. India buys 7.5m t/y LNG from Qatar at Dahej under a 25-year deal signed in 1999 but wants more.

“The Emir’s visit will provide an excellent opportunity to review bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector,” wrote foreign ministry joint secretary AR Ghanashyam to oil ministry joint secretary Vivek Kumar on March 9. “This will include not only LNG but also oil, LPG, gas for power and fertiliser industries, potential investments and financial stakes in our projects.