Major energy importer India and one of the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, Qatar, agreed on Tuesday to create a special task force to explore and facilitate Qatari investments in India, including in the energy sector.
In a telephone conversation today, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, agreed to deepen cooperation in the energy sector, the Indian government said in a statement.
“The two leaders discussed the robust cooperation between both countries in the fields of investment flows and energy security, and reviewed recent positive developments in this regard. They decided to create a special Task-Force to further facilitate investments by Qatar Investment Authority into India, and also resolved to explore Qatari investments in the entire energy value-chain in India,” the government of India said.
India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, is also a major importer of LNG, of which Qatar delivers around 80 percent.
At the beginning of this year, India asked Qatar for renegotiation of its long-term supply contract, but Qatar was not inclined to renegotiate the prices.
“Qatar is our largest source of LNG. India’s appetite for energy, particularly gas is increasing considerably. We see an enormous potential to further expand India-Qatar energy ties and also expect to increase our bilateral engagements beyond buyer-seller relationship,” India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at the end of January.
India wants to significantly boost its gas consumption and expand its gas infrastructure.
“An estimated investment of 60 billion US dollars is lined up in developing gas infrastructure which includes pipelines, city gas distribution and LNG re-gasification terminals,” Pradhan said in September.
Qatar, for its part, sees LNG as an important part of India’s plans to increase its gas-based economy.
“We believe that natural gas is a critical component of India’s energy mix as the country seeks to boost its use across all sectors, while at the same time playing an important global role in curbing global warming,” Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, said at a virtual Indian energy forum in October.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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