India’s LNG imports down in March

India’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports dropped in March following a year-on-year rise in January and February, according to the preliminary data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

The country imported about 2.52 billion cubic meters, or about 1.9 million tonnes of LNG, in March via long-term contracts and spot purchases, a decrease of 1.1 percent compared to the same month in 2023, PPAC said.

During the April 2023-March 2024 financial year, India took 30.91 bcm of LNG, or some 23.3 million tonnes, up by 17.5 percent, PPAC said.

India paid $1.1 billion for March LNG imports, down from $1.2 billion in the same month last year, and $13.3 billion in the April-March period, down from $17.1 billion in the year before, it said.

As per India’s natural gas production, it reached 3.13 bcm in March, up by 6.2 percent compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

During April-March, gas production rose by 5.8 percent to about 36.4 bcm, PPAC said.

At the moment, India imports LNG via seven facilities with a combined capacity of about 47.7 million tonnes.

These include Petronet LNG’s Dahej and Kochi terminals, Shell’s Hazira terminal, and the Dabhol LNG, Ennore LNG, Mundra LNG, and Dhamra LNG terminal.

India’s Hindustan Petroleum, a unit of state-owned ONGC, also recently received the first cargo of LNG at its 5 mtpa Chhara LNG import terminal in Gujarat, according to shipping data.

The 2015-built 159,800-cbm, Maran Gas Mystras, arrived at the LNG terminal in the Chhara port on April 11, and the vessel previously picked up a cargo of LNG at Marathon Oil’s Punta Europa LNG terminal in Equatorial Guinea.

During April 2023-February 2024, the 17.5 mtpa Dahej terminal operated at 95.1 percent capacity, while the 5.2 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 31.5 percent capacity, PPAC said.

The 5 mtpa Dhamra LNG terminal operated at 23.1 percent capacity, the 5 mtpa Dabhol LNG terminal operated at 41.5 percent capacity, the 5 mtpa Kochi LNG terminal operated at 20.6 percent capacity, and the 5 mtpa Ennore LNG terminal operated at 17.8 percent capacity, it said.

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