Mumbai: India’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose 4.6% year-on-year and 15.6% month-on-month to 91 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd) in June, according to data from the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Lower domestic natural gas production in June coupled with higher demand and lower prices at Henry Hub—major distribution centre--led to the rise in LNG imports.
During the first quarter of the current fiscal, imports increased 6.8% year-on-year to 86 mmscmd following a five-month period--from November 2018 till March 2019-- of lower imports, with average LNG imports 10.4% lower at 69.5mmscmd than the corresponding five-month period last year.
"The recovery can be largely attributed to a gradual decline in Henry Hub prices to $2.4/metric million British thermal unit (mmBtu) in June 2019 from $4.1/mmBtu in November 2018," said India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) in a report published today.
During April-June, the average Henry Hub prices were 11.8% lower year-on-year at $2.5 per mmBtu due to global supply-demand equations.
Domestic natural gas (NG) production declined 1.6% YoY to 88mmscmd during June and declined 0.5% YoY to 88 mmscmd during 1QFY20. During the month, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL) registered a 2.8% YoY and 1.8% YoY rise, respectively, in NG production volume, while private/joint venture fields recorded a fall of 20.0% YoY. Natural gas consumption increased 1.3% YoY in June and rose 2.8% YoY during 1QFY20.
Henry Hub prices were stable at $2.4/mmBtu in July, which would likely keep LNG imports largely stable during the month. NG prices have moderated over the last few months, in line with historical trend.
In June, India’s crude oil production fell 6.8% YoY. Production volumes at ONGC and OIL declined 5% YoY and 4% YoY, respectively, and that of fields under production-sharing contracts fell 11.7% YoY.
Crude oil imports declined 13.3% YoY, with India’s crude oil import dependency at 83.9%. Price of Brent crude averaged $63.9 per barrel (bbl) during July compared with $64.2 per barrel during June, and $74.3 per barrel during July 2018.