India is ready to import more crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to expand bilateral trade, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Wednesday.
Speaking after a meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit in Singapore, Gokhale said, commenting on the topics discussed:
“There was a lot of discussion on energy, this is a new sector in the Indo-US relations. We have begun importing oil & gas from United States.”
“It is expected to be valued about $4 billion this year and we expressed our readiness to import more oil and more gas from the United States as a way of expanding our trade,” Gokhale added.
Two months before the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil were re-imposed, India—Iran’s second-biggest oil customer after China—said that it would be looking at the economics—and not the politics—of importing U.S. crude oil, and Indian imports of American oil should not be seen as a replacement for Iranian barrels.
India was one of eight Iranian oil buyers that received waivers to continue importing Iran’s oil at reduced volumes until May next year.
This year, India has become a regular customer of U.S. crude oil, with American crude exports significantly rising from May 2018 onwards, EIA data shows. According to the latest available EIA data, the U.S. sent 196,000 bpd of oil to India in August, up from 102,000 bpd in July, but down from the current high of 261,000 bpd from June.
As far as natural gas is concerned, India aims to more than double the share of natural gas in its energy mix, to 15 percent by 2022. To accommodate expected growing volumes of LNG imports, India plans to build 11 LNG import terminals over the next seven years, which would add to the four existing facilities.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.