India's imports for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased 9.7% year-on-year and 13.4% month-on-month to 83 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) said the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The increase comes after a five-month period of lower year-on-year (yoy) imports between November 2018 and March 2019, wherein the average LNG imports were 10.4% lower at 69.5mmscmd than the corresponding five-month period last year.
The 0.3% year-on-year reduction in domestic natural gas production in April 2019 coupled with 4.2% year-on-year increase in consumption demand seems to have driven the increase in LNG imports.
LNG was procured during the month by Petronet LNG Ltd., GAIL (India) Ltd., Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Reliance Industries Limited, Torrent Power Limited, Shell (formerly Hazira LNG Pvt. Ltd.), Indian Oil Corporation Limited & Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.
"The recovery can be largely attributed to a gradual decline in Henry Hub gas prices to $2.6 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu) in April 2019 from $4.1 per mmbtu in November 2018, owing to global supply-demand equations," said India Ratings and Research in a report dated 10 June.
Total consumption for the month of April 2019 was 4341 mmscm. Major consumers were fertilizer (27%), power (22%), CGD (18%), refinery (14%), and petrochemicals (7%).
However, crude oil production decreased by 6.9% year-on-year in April. During the month, the production volumes of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Oil India Limited declined 4.9% yoy and 3.9% yoy, respectively, and that of fields under production-sharing contracts fell 12.4% yoy.
India Ratings and Research added that in April 2019, crude oil import volume grew 14.1% yoy and India’s crude oil import dependency was 86.8%. The price of Brent Crude averaged USD71.5/bbl during April 2019 as against USD71.3/bbl during April 2019 and USD77.0/bbl during May 2018.