Global energy major Exxon Mobil Corp and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) have signed an agreement to help deliver natural gas in containers to Indian cities outside the pipeline network. The move can significantly increase the use of the clean fuel in the country, and deepen the rapidly growing US-India energy ties.
The US has emerged as an important energy supplier for India, with total crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports worth an estimated $6.7 billion, officials said. Imports of the two commodities in April-December 2019 have already surpassed the shipments during the entire previous fiscal year.
Chart Energy & Chemicals Inc — a US company specialising in the supply chain of liquefied gas — will also be a part of the “letter of cooperation” along with ExxonMobil India LNG Ltd and state-run Indian Oil Corp, coinciding with US President Donald Trump’s visit to India. “By linking our global expertise with other leading players, we can create strong and reliable pathways for gas to move quickly and efficiently to where it is needed,” Alex Volkov, chairman, ExxonMobil LNG Market Development Inc said in a statement.
Natural gas, which liquefies at -162°C, can be transported by road, rail or waterways. Advanced cryogenic technology is needed to keep the gas super-cooled in transit.
The partners hope to make “virtual pipelines” to fuel factories, households and vehicles in cities not connected to the gas grid.