India’s January LNG imports drop

India’s liquefied natural gas imports dropped 14.3 percent in January following a rise for six straight months.

LNG imports reached 2.40 billion cubic meters or about 1.77 million tonnes last month, data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell shows.

In addition, the value of January LNG imports continued to ease and the price tag totaled $0.6 billion compared to $0.8 billion in the same month last year.

Same as in December, India’s domestic natural gas production dropped last month 2.2 percent to 2.55 bcm.

Total LNG imports in the April 2020-January 2021 period dropped by 1.2 percent to 27.07 bcm or about 20.03 million tonnes.

To remind, the Covid pandemic has affected the country’s LNG imports bringing them down in April-June due to restrictions. But they continued to log monthly climbs since then and this marked the first drop.

India currently imports LNG via six terminals with a combined capacity of 42.5 million tonnes.

Petronet LNG’s 17.5 mtpa Dahej terminal operated at 95.8 percent capacity while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 89.3 percent capacity in April-December, the PPAC data shows.

A recent report by the International Energy Agency suggests India’s LNG imports could rise four times in the next two decades as the nation moves towards a gas‐based economy.

The country’s LNG imports could rise from around 30 bcm in 2019 to more
than 120 bcm in 2040, IEA said.

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