BPCL lands first LNG cargo alone

Vol 20, PW 4 (03 Nov 16) News in Brief

BPCL has landed its first spot LNG cargo to India - the latest in a line of companies to bypass 'aggregator' Petronet-LNG and import cargoes on its own.

BPCL, a 12.5% founding stakeholder of Petronet-LNG, took delivery of 157,074 cubic metres LNG at Dahej on October 31 through Shell-affiliate SITME. Sourced from the 3.4m t/y Punta Europa LNG project in Equatorial Guinea, the cargo was loaded aboard LNG tanker Velikiy Novogorod on October 2 for its maiden voyage to India.

BPCL joins sister refiner IndianOil - also a 12.5% founder stakeholder of Petronet-LNG - in importing LNG alone. Since June last year IndianOil has landed nine LNG cargoes in India, the last a 139,951-cubic metre delivery at Dahej on October 2 priced at $5.60/mmbtu.

Some analysts criticise the growing trend. "The Indian government created Petronet-LNG to source LNG," we hear.

"But now it is penalising Petronet-LNG by allowing its customers to self-source LNG and save huge tax bills! Why create Petronet-LNG with all the PSUs and then encourage IndianOil and GAIL to get their own gas? It makes no sense."