Qatar willing to sell additional 1.25m t/y to Dahej

Vol 9, PW 9 (11 Aug 05) Midstream & Downstream

Contrary to earlier reports, Qatar appears ready and willing to sell an additional 1.25m t/y LNG to India in addition to the 7.5m t/y that it is already contracted to supply.

A team led by oil secretary Sushil Tripathi returned to Delhi with this understanding after a visit to Qatar on 1st August. This contradicts Qatars unequivocal message in July to outgoing Indian ambassador Ranjan Mathai that it could not spare any more LNG for two years until it completes technical studies on the impact of gas extraction from the North Field reservoir.

We too had heard about Qatars message to the outgoing Indian ambassador, a source in the Indian delegation tells us. But we got a totally different impression during our meetings.

Tripathi and his team met senior RasGas and Qatari officials and the response they received was apparently very encouraging. Capacity at Dahej is 5m t/y but the terminal is ready to receive an extra 1.25m t/y immediately without de-bottlenecking.

We are willing to take 1.25m t/y from tomorrow itself to meet the unmet capacity at Dahej, adds our source. Qatar officials said the extra 1.25m t/y could be supplied for the next three years from spare liquefaction capacity, but that first deliveries could not begin before the year-end.

No contractual commitment by Qatar was made during the visit. Everybody is on vacation now, we learn.

They said theyll get back to us by the end of this month when they finalise the delivery plan for the next year. Indian officials clearly told their hosts that India is ready and willing to receive any additional LNG that Qatar has spare.

This could be regassified either at Shells Hazira terminal or at Dabhol after it is ready, we learn. Qatar told us they know we need LNG at Dabhol.

Under consideration are plans to use Shells terminal as a regassification terminal for LNG by interested importers. Shell has made it clear that Hazira is a merchant terminal so we took into account unused regassification capacity there as well.