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India’s Largest Natural Gas Importer to Extend LNG Deal with Qatar

Petronet LNG, the largest natural gas importer in India, expects to sign later this month an agreement to extend its LNG supply deal with Qatar beyond 2028, India’s Oil Secretary Pankaj Jain said on Wednesday.

“We are pretty close to signing the deal,” the secretary told reporters in New Delhi, as carried by Reuters.

Qatar, one of the world’s top LNG exporters, prefers to sign long-term agreements with its buyers, and had given its Indian customers until the end of 2023 to negotiate possible extension and/or renewal of the current agreements beyond 2028.    

Currently, Petronet has a long-term agreement with Qatar to import 7.5 million metric tons of LNG from Qatar per year.

Qatar has signed in recent months new long-term deals – for 27 years – with a number of customers and strategic partners, including China’s Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and European majors Shell, TotalEnergies, and Eni, which are minority shareholders in some of Qatar’s massive LNG expansion projects.   

In October, QatarEnergy signed a 27-year agreement to ship LNG to Europe by agreeing to deliver cargoes for Eni in Italy beginning in 2026, after similar deals with Shell and TotalEnergies for supply to the Netherlands and France, respectively. 

Eni, Shell, and TotalEnergies are all minority shareholders in the various LNG production trains of the North Field expansion project.

Also in October, Qatar broke ground for the world’s largest LNG project, the North Field expansion project, which will boost the tiny Gulf country’s export capacity by 48 million tons per annum (mmtpa) by 2027.

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In July last year, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, said that “40% of all the new LNG that will come to the market by 2029, when all our projects are up and running, is going to be from QatarEnergy.”

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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