Petronet-LNG says Kochi gas can wait

Vol 12, PW 15 (18 Dec 08) News in Brief

Petronet-LNG has adopted the laidback beach lifestyle of Kerala while negotiating a LNG import contract for its proposed terminal at Puthuvypeen Island off Kochi, due to be built by January 2012.

“We are talking to many LNG sellers,â€‌ reports a company source. “But there’s no hurry.

â€‌ Sharp falls in crude and gas prices and a global economic slump mean it’s better to watch the rolling breakers hit the beaches at Kochi in Kerala than frantically work to tie-up a deal, adds our source. “No one should be desperate,â€‌ he says.

Petronet-LNG wanted to import 3.75m t/y of LNG into Kochi from Western Australia’s 15m t/y Gorgon Project run by operator Chevron (50%) and partners Shell (25%) and ExxonMobil (25%). But the consortium has not decided on a customer for the gas even though Petronet-LNG sent an indicative price bid by July 31.

Even if the consortium accepts the bid by mid-2009 gas will arrive from Gorgon only in 2014. By then Petronet-LNG will be spoilt for choice.

“A lot of LNG export projects come on stream by then,â€‌ we hear.