India received its first Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) cargo from United States (US) under long-term supply deal. The first US-sourced LNG shipment was imported by state-owned GAIL on board of its chartered LNG ship ‘Meridian Spirit’ from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Louisiana. It was discharged at GAIL’s Dabhol terminal, Maharashtra after 25 days voyage. The development comes on heels of India’s first import of crude oil from US in October 2017.
GAIL has signed two 20-year Sale Purchase Agreement (SPA) potentially worth US $32 billion with US’ natural gas exporter Dominion Cove Point project in Maryland and tSabine Pass project in Louisiana. Under it, GAIL will purchase around 3.5 Million Tonne of LNG per year from Sabine Pass. This shipment will help GAIL to diversify its portfolio both on price indexation and geographical locations.
India primarily imports LNG from Qatar and Australia under long-term contracts. In recent times, it has been trying to diversify its natural gas sources. Moreover, after former US President Barack Obama lifted US’s 40 year-old oil export ban, Indian oil and gas companies in response bought shipments of US crude to check for cost competitiveness and its compatibility with Indian refinery configuration. India is also trying to increase its use of natural gas in the energy mix from current 6% to 15% within five years inorder reduce dependence on oil and to secure energy supplies and reduce emissions by using more natural gas.