India’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose 8.3 percent in March as compared to the same month a year ago.
India imported 2.07 billion cubic meters or about 1.53 million mt of LNG in March, as compared to 1.95 Bcm in the same month in 2016, according to the data from oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).
India’s LNG imports increased for a second straight month after a decline in January and December, respectively.
Domestic natural gas production rose 8.3 percent in March to 2.75 Bcm, the PPAC data shows.
In the April-March period, India’s LNG imports rose 15.5 percent year-on-year to 24.6 Bcm or about 18.2 million mt of LNG.
LNG imports during the fiscal year to March 2017 were the highest in the last four years, PPAC said.
India’s LNG imports have been rising since the beginning of last year on the back of lower prices.
Costs of importing LNG into India have dropped sharply in 2016 after the country’s largest importer, Petronet LNG signed a revised long-term contract with Qatari LNG producer RasGas.
India paid $0.6 billion for March LNG imports. In the April-March period, LNG import costs reached $6.1 billion, PPAC said.
This year, India made additional steps to further boosting its imports of the chilled fuel as part of plans to shift to a natural gas-based economy.
The country announced in the beginning of the year it would halve its basic customs duty on imports of LNG from current 5 percent to 2.5 percent.
India’s ministry of the road, transport and highways has also recently given the green light for the use of LNG as fuel for road vehicles.
India currently imports LNG via Petronet’s Dahej and Kochi LNG terminals, Shell’s Hazira plant, and the Dabhol terminal operated by Ratnagiri Gas and Power
LNG World News Staff