Trump concludes two-day visit to India in joint pledge with Modi on LNG supply and nuclear

Wednesday, 26 February 2020
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President Donald Trump concluded his two-day visit to India by issuing a joint statement with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a variety of issues, including future cooperation on liquefied natural gas as both leaders noted that the US-Indian energy relationship over the last four years had been worth $20 billion.

They said they welcomed growing links between the United States and India in trade and investment in hydrocarbons. 

“Through their Strategic Energy Partnership, the United States and India are seeking to enhance energy security, expand energy and innovation linkages across respective energy sectors, bolster strategic alignment, and facilitate increased engagement between industry and other stakeholders,” they said.

Trump and Modi noted the potential for the US to meet India’s goal to diversify its import base for coking and metallurgical coal and natural gas.

“We welcome recent commercial arrangements intended to accelerate access to LNG in the Indian market,” they added, in reference to the accord between US company Tellurian and state-owned Petronet LNG, the nation’s largest importer.

They also referenced moves by ExxonMobil and others to advance with the provision of more LNG fuel use for transportation and small-scale distribution.

“The US has indeed become a very important oil and gas source for India,” they said.

“Over the last four years, our total energy trade volume is about $20 billion,” added the statement.

They also noted that they encouraged the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and US company Westinghouse Electric to finalize the techno-commercial offer for the construction of six civil nuclear reactors in India at the earliest date.

Westinghouse and the Indian nuclear power operator plan to build the 1,100 megawatts reactors in the southeast Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. 

However, there was no statement on the firming up of Petronet’s  supply agreement with Driftwood LNG developer Tellurian, nor on its accord on a possible equity stake.

The initial agreement between Tellurian and Petronet for up to 5 million tonnes per annum of US LNG was signed during a visit to Houston in September 2019 by Modi, who also held a Texas rally for Indians living in the US.

Petronet and Tellurian will continue their talks on the Indians investing $2.5 billion in the Driftwood plans proposed for the west bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles in Louisiana.

Petronet currently operates India’s busiest regasification facility at Dahej, north of Mumbai, with 15 million tonnes per annum of capacity and six storage tanks. The terminal is being expanded to handle 17.5 MTPA.

The company was formed by the Government of India in 1998 specifically to import LNG and will be expanding its interests in the years ahead into LNG fuel distribution.

Shareholders in Petronet, which began operations in 2004, include the other big Indian energy players, Gas Authority of India, Indian Oil Corp., Oil and Natural Gas Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp.

 

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