LNG imports drop 13.6% in September

During the period from April to August, LNG import volumes increased 0.7% year-on-year to 13,033 mscm.

India’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) were down 13.2% year-on-year (year-on-year) to 1.9 million tonnes (MT), or 2,517.5 million standard cubic meters (mscm ) in September, according to a recent note published by Credit Suisse. With this, LNG imports in April-September amounted to 11.8 MT, slightly lower than the 11.9 MT recorded in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Import volumes fell as global LNG spot prices hit record highs amid low inventories, high demand and limited fuel supply. Domestic consumption of natural gas had increased 10.1% year-on-year to 26,660 mscm in the April-August period and demand figures for September are not yet available.

During the period from April to August, LNG import volumes increased 0.7% year-on-year to 13,033 mscm. However, the value of imports during the same period had increased 68% year-on-year to reach $ 4.2 billion. LNG spot rates in Asia had fallen from $ 6.9 / million British thermal units (mbtu) at the start of the year to $ 17.7 / mbtu at the end of August. By the end of September, it had even exceeded $ 25 / mbtu. In April-August 2019, the LNG import was 13,618 mscm and the import value was $ 3.9 billion. Total domestic consumption during the corresponding period of FY20 was 26,666 mscm.

The drop in LNG imports coincides with the acceleration of gas production in the difficult fields of Reliance Industries and BP’s ultra-deep-water KG-D6 block in the Krishna Godavari Basin and U1B deep-water gas d CGSB located in the KG-DWN 98/2 block on the east coast. Although the ceiling price for gas to be produced from these difficult fields has been raised by 69% to $ 6.13 / mBtu, it remains well below the tariffs for imported LNG.

Dependence on natural gas imports, thanks to higher LNG prices and increased domestic production, fell from 54% in April-August 2020 to 49% in the corresponding quarter of this year. year.

Low LNG imports “will continue to weigh on Dahej usage until the growth in gas demand exceeds the new domestic gas supply from Reliance and ONGC (which could take another 2-3 years)” , noted Credit Suisse analysts. The total capacity of operational LNG import terminals is around 40 MT per year (MTPA). Petronet LNG’s Dahej terminal, the largest of them with a capacity of 17.5 MTPA, was operating at 93% utilization in September, compared to 109% recorded in the corresponding month of the previous year.

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