India to Increase Oil, Gas Imports from the US: Minister
India’s oil and gas imports from the US will continue to grow as Indian companies enter into more long-term contracts, Indian petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on July 17 after a second meeting of the India-US Strategic Energy Partnership.
“We are satisfied at the significant increase in bilateral energy trade in a short span of three years. The bilateral hydrocarbons trade alone has touched $9.2bn during 2019-20, accounting for 10% of the overall bilateral trade,” Pradhan said. “We have also seen significant reduction in the trade deficit between the two countries. In fact, India is now the fourth largest export destination for US crude and 5th largest for US LNG. The trend is expected to continue with Indian companies entering into more long-term contracts going forward from this year.”
India's largest gas marketing company, Gail, has a long-term contract for 5.8mn metric tons/year of US LNG. Last year, another India firm, Petronet LNG, signed a memorandum with US developer Tellurian to negotiate the supply of up to 5mn mt/year of LNG from the Driftwood export project in Louisiana. Petronet LNG was also to pick up an equity stake in the project. However, MoU expired in June.
The minister said that through the US-India Natural Gas Task Force, the two nations have forged new commercial partnerships on innovative projects and developed a series of policy and regulatory recommendations to support India’s vision of gas-based economy. In order to fight the problem of air pollution in urban pockets, India is aiming to increase the share of gas in the energy mix to 15% by 2030 from 6% today.