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India asks Qatar for additional 3 mn tonnes of gas

Doha, April 23 - India Monday urged Qatar to increase the supply of natural gas by 3 million tonnes to meet immediate requirements.

India imports 7.5 million tonnes of liquified natural gas (LNG) annually on a long-term contract.

Visiting Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma asked for the additional supply of LNG from the Gulf state during a meeting with Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al Sada, according to an official statement released after the meeting.

Sharma said gas supply from Qatar should increase further to 15 million tonnes a year in the coming three to four years.

India has been asking for an additional supply of gas from Qatar, but the matter is stuck over differences over the price.

According to a statement released by the Indian ministry of commerce and industry, concerned agencies and companies of the two countries are involved in negotiations to sort out the price issue and resume additional supply.

Petronet LNG and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) import liquified natural gas (LNG) from Qatar.

Meanwhile, Qatar has expressed keen interest in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) offer to jointly participate in upstream projects in third countries.

During the Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani's state visit to New Delhi early this month, the two countries had signed an agreement to cooperate and promote investments in both upstream and downstream oil and gas projects.

India-Qatar bilateral trade increased to $7.20 billion in 2010-11 from $2.39 billion in 2006-07, largely due to increase in gas exports from Qatar.

The balance of trade is heavily in favour of Qatar. India's export to Qatar was just $381.77 million in 2010-11, while import was $6.81 billion.


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