Petronet LNG won’t tap spot market till December

Petronet LNG won’t tap spot market till December

New Delhi: Petronet LNG does not plan to tap spot market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports at least till December due to a lack of pipeline infrastructure in the country, chief executive P. Dasgupta told reporters on Thursday.

“There is no pipeline. You don’t have facility to evacuate it. Until the end of this year, or first quarter of 2011, no new pipeline is expected to come up," Dasgupta said.

Petronet had halted spot LNG imports from last December due to higher availability of local gas, mainly from a deepwater block operated by Reliance Industries, in India’s east coast.

Petronet said it has got shareholder approval to raise borrowing limit to Rs150 billion ($3.24 billion) from Rs100 billion.

It may also go for a rights issue between end-2011 and mid-2012 to fund its planned power project in western India.

Domestic supply of natural gas has risen significantly after Reliance Industries started pumping gas from its deep-sea fields, in India’s east coast, last year.

India, which imports over two-thirds of the oil it consumes, is actively encouraging the use of natural gas to reduce dependence on costly imports of crude oil.

Petronet, which annually buys 7.5 million tonnes of LNG from Qatar’s Rasgas under a long-term deal, operates a 10-million-tonne capacity LNG regasification terminal in Dahej in Gujarat.

Qatar has agreed to supply an additional 4 million tonnes of LNG to India by 2013, oil secretary S. Sundareshan had said in March.