Japan disaster continues to impact gas prices

Vol 14, PW 21 (21 Apr 11) Midstream & Downstream

Gas prices in Gujarat are rocketing in concert with rising Asian spot LNG prices following the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power meltdown in early March 2011.

Last month, GAIL was the first Indian LNG importer to react to rising Asian spot LNG prices by raising the price of its R-LNG from the Dahej LNG terminal from $10.70/mmbtu to $12.53/mmbtu on March 27. Now a source at LNG importer GSPC says its R-LNG price could soon rise from $11.78/mmbtu to $13.62/mmbtu.

This news has spurred multiple Gujarat-based gas retailers to announce increases to their prices for piped gas supplies to customers in early April. India’s only gas ‘cooperative’ Charotar Gas, GSPC’s retail arm GSPC Gas, Adani Gas and Sabarmati Gas together receive up to 6m cm/d of R-LNG from GSPC.

Charotar has increased the price of its piped gas to factories, businesses and households in central Gujarat from Rs20.93/cm ($ 0.47) to Rs22.02/cm ($0.49). Adani meanwhile has steeply increased its price for piped gas to factories in Ahmedabad and Vadodara cities from Rs19.86/cm ($0.44) to Rs24.68/cm ($0.55).

Sabarmati Gas, a GSPC and Bharat Petroleum joint venture, has increased its price for piped gas to factories in the north Gujarat districts of Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha and Mehsana to Rs21.18/cm ($0.47). And GSPC Gas, the largest retail gas player in Gujarat, has similarly raised its price for piped gas to factories from Rs18.20/cm ($0.40) to Rs21.18/cm ($0.47).

“Customers are angry about these price increases but there’s no alternative,” adds a source at BG subsidiary Gujarat Gas. In April, Gujarat Gas was forced to increase its price for piped gas to factories in Surat from Rs15.04/cm ($0.33) to Rs16.64/cm ($0.37) provoking nearly 400 Surat textile factories to go on a seven-day strike.