Qatar has sought the intervention of the Indian Government to prevail upon GAIL (India) to give up its claim on the 5.2 per cent stake of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Petronet LNG to enable Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) to pick up the stake sought to be disinvested by the ADB.

Earlier this year, Petronet LNG Ltd. (PLL) had approached QPI to purchase a stake in PLL following ADB’s intention to divest its 5.2 per cent equity in the company.

In a letter to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Veerappa Moily, Qatar Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada has said that QPI and ADB, with PLL support, have already engaged in preliminary evaluatory discussions. “I have personally endorsed QPI to move forward as it will be a milestone for strengthening mutual cooperation between our countries.

However, in the light of GAIL’s stance, there could be a possibility that ADB will not be able to proceed further in selling its shares to QPI. Therefore, I urge the Indian Government and look to your (Mr. Moily’s) assistance to help materialise this deal at the earliest,” the letter from the Qatar Minister states. Public sector undertakings (PSUs) — Indian Oil Corporation, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and GAIL (India) — had earlier evinced interest in buying the ADB stake but the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry blocked the move as it would have turned Petronet into a public sector company.

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