In an indication of increasing demand for natural gas in the country, India’s import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) jumped 18 per cent to 33,680 Million Standard Cubic Meter (MMSCM) in 2019-2020, as weaker global prices of LNG prompted the local industry to consume more, data analysed by ETEnergyWorld showed.
Despite higher volumes, the LNG import bill witnessed a decline last fiscal indicating a sustained weakness in global LNG prices. According to data published by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), the country’s LNG import declined 8 per cent to $9.5 billion in 2019-2020.
According to analysts many refiners, gas marketing companies and gas-based power plant operators aggressively grabbed distressed LNG cargoes during the first quarter of 2020 in anticipation of robust natural gas demand.
All the major sectors which consume imported LNG witnessed a major jump in demand last financial year. Data showed LNG imports by the power sector increased 26 per cent to 3,595 MMSCM.
Spot LNG imports by gas-based power plants peaked at 10.63 Million Standard Cubic Meter per Day (MMSCMD) in March 2020, the highest for 2019-2020. Analysts had last month told ETEnergyWorld the decline in domestic natural gas production in the last couple of quarters may have pushed gas-based power plants to increase buying of spot LNG cargoes.
LNG imports by City Gas Distribution (CGD) companies increased 19 per cent to 4,746 MMSCM in 2019-2020. Similarly, the petrochemical industry witnessed a 15 per cent increase in LNG imports at 3,016 MMSCM.