Deora and Attiyah hold talks in Mexico
India and China were the new powerhouses of economic growth and Qatar was ready to meet New Delhi's ever-growing demand for natural gas, the Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister of Qatar, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, said here on Tuesday.
Speaking at a two-day, 12th International Energy Forum (IEF), the Minister said his country was diverting shipments meant for the United States and Europe to India and China. Asia would be the new hub of activity on the energy front. “India is on top of my agenda and we are always committed to meeting its needs,” he said.
Mr. Attiyah held talks with Petroleum Minister Murli Deora on the sidelines of the IEF meet. They discussed pricing of energy and gas supplies. India, under a long-term deal with Qatar's RasGas, was importing 7.5 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) every year.
The two Ministers also reportedly discussed the sharp differences in LNG prices. While Mr. Deora was keen to negotiate a fixed price, Qatar was looking for a price between 13.5 and 15.5 per cent of Japanese crude cocktail (JCC).
Qatar had agreed to supply an additional 4 million tonnes of LNG to meet India's growing energy needs. The additional fuel would be imported at the under-construction Kochi LNG terminal of Petronet LNG Ltd. and the Dabhol terminal, which was almost ready. It had also entered into a contract to supply 12 million tonnes of LNG to China.
“We have created the trust between the producers and importers over the years. The International Energy Forum also contributed to the trust-building,” Mr. Attiyah said.
Qatar would begin with supply of an additional one million tonnes of LNG to India in 2011 and would augment it to 4 million tonnes by 2014. These would be under 15-20 year contract.
With falling demand from the U.S. and Europe, its principal importers, the LNG-surplus Qatar had developed a soft corner for India and China where energy demand had risen with their respective economies doing well.
The 12th International Energy Forum was seeking support from oil producers and consumers for a joint action in dealing with steep price rise, which was seen during the recent economic crisis.