India looks to Australia for LNG

Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: With the focus on energy security and India on a major liquefied natural gas (LNG) scouting exercise, Australia seems to be emerging as one of the major destinations that could provide India with the necessary supplies to meet its growing energy needs and feed its expanding LNG terminal capacities.

Highly placed sources said that the India-Australia Joint Working Group (JWG) on energy and minerals has proposed the setting up of an Australia-India Strategic Research Fund that would also look closely at the possibility of promoting scientific and technological cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.

New initiative

Sources said that the strategy was aimed at progressing commercial opportunities in various areas of trade in energy, including LNG.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry had already given its go-ahead for being part of this new initiative and had also enrolled the services of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to take a close look at the entire issue and also study the possibility of importing LNG from Australia in the near future.

“The supply of LNG from Australia would be critical for the upcoming Kochi LNG terminal.

“Therefore, it is important from India’s point of view that this new initiative takes off at the earliest opening new opportunity for Indian companies, including public sector undertakings (PSUs),” a senior Petroleum Ministry official said.

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