Petronet’s Kochi Unit to Get Second Qatari LNG Cargo This Week

Petronet LNG Ltd., India’s biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas, will receive its second cargo at the Kochi terminal in southern India this week.

The LNG cargo will arrive this week, Managing Director A.K. Balyan said in a phone interview from New Delhi. Petronet bought the shipment from Qatar’s Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co., he said. The delivered price is at “little over $15 and below $16” per million British thermal units, Balyan said.

Processing more LNG cargoes at Kochi will help boost the company’s profits, which fell as regasification volumes declined. Earnings dropped to 1.82 billion rupees ($28.6 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30, the lowest in 11 quarters.

“With the present rate, we plan to bring in a cargo at Kochi every second month,” Balyan said. “We are also looking at a short-term deal for Kochi till long-term supplies from Gorgon project begins.”

Petronet owns the 5 million ton-a-year Kochi LNG facility that received its first cargo in August from the Qatari company, known as RasGas.

The gas importer reached an agreement with Exxon Mobil in August 2009 to buy 1.5 million metric tons annually for 20 years from Australia’s Gorgon project.

Petronet’s Kochi terminal is supplying the gas to customers including state-run Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore, Bharat Petroleum Corp.’s Kochi refinery and Nitta Gelatin India Ltd.

Petronet’s investors are GAIL India Ltd., Oil & Natural Gas Corp., Indian Oil Corp. and Bharat Petroleum, according to Petronet’s website.

India was Asia’s fourth-biggest buyer of LNG in 2012, according to data from the Paris-based International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers.

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