Indian LNG imports surpass 15m tonnes in record 2015

Source: Heren

2016/01/13

A total of 15.15m tonnes of LNG was delivered into Indian terminals in 2015, a 5% increase from 2014, according to ICIS data which also shows that recent renegotiations in a contract between India’s Petronet and Qatari seller RasGas may already have taken effect.

The 2015 total volume is the highest on record and continues the trend of yearly increases, despite Petronet underlifting on contracted Qatari volumes. Lower spot LNG prices have brought more Indian buyers to the market, with the government supporting the use of gas in domestic power generation.

The weighted average price of all cargoes delivered in 2015 was in a range of $10.40-10.50/MMBtu, down from $13.65-13.75/MMBtu, according to ICIS data.

Total Qatari deliveries to India in 2015 stood at 9m tonnes, down from 11.9m tonnes from 2014. Qatar’s share in total Indian LNG supply was 59%, down from 82% in 2014. Petronet took only about 60% of the 7.5mtpa contracted with RasGas in 2015 with the average price ranging between $12.00-14.00/MMBtu, substantially above prevailing spot prices.

Petronet negotiated a shorter reference period linked to the Japanese Crude Cocktail which meant that the fall in oil prices would be more closely reflected. A delivery into Dahej in early January aboard a vessel that has typically carried contracted Qatari volumes was priced between $6.30-6.40/MMBtu which would tie in with the expected renegotiated level.

Higher deliveries from Nigeria, up 69% to 2.2m tonnes, offset the reduction in Qatari volume, with more than 500,000 tonnes delivered from the Queensland Curtis LNG plant. Indian state-run buyer secured a five-cargo tender from portfolio seller BG Group, which operates the Australian plant and has a position at Nigeria LNG. Indian buyer GSPC’s long-term contract with BG also started in 2015.

No deliveries were recorded from Australia to India in 2014.

Over 400,000 tonnes were delivered from Europe, a combination of reloads from Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, in addition to a single cargo from Norway.

The Dahej terminal remained the busiest, receiving 10.2m tonnes, down from 10.9m tonnes in 2014. Dahej takes in the bulk of contracted Qatari volumes. A total of around 1.18m tonnes was delivered into Dabhol, double 2014 levels, with a similar rate of increase into the underutilised Kochi terminal to 376,000 tonnes.

Hazira remained the country’s second most active terminal with 3.66m tonnes delivered, up from 2.8m tonnes. ed.cox@icis.com