India balances US energy ties with $25 billion Russian gas deal



New Delhi, June 5 (TNS): India started receiving long-term gas supplies from Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s top publicly-listed natural gas company, under a $25-billion deal that indicates New Delhi’s quest for newer routes towards energy security and balancing ties with Washington and Moscow, Indian media reported on Tuesday.

“Today will be remembered as a golden day for India’s energy security roadmap,” Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said after receiving ‘LNG Kano’, the cryogenic ship carrying the first cargo of LNG (liquefied natural gas) under a 20-year deal withstate- run GAIL.

Recalling Russia’s extended contribution in developing India’s oil and gas sector, beginning with the discovery of Mumbai High field in the 1970s, Pradhan said the long-term gas supply establishes an energy bridge between the two countries as part of PM Modi and president Putin’s plan for forging closer strategic economic cooperation.

Pradhan said India will import gas worth $1.5 billion a year under the deal signed by GAIL in 2012, a year after the state-run utility tied up long-term supplies from two US shale gas projects. All India’s long-term gas deals are in operation, with Gazprom offering the most competitive terms.

Pradhan’s statement underlines an effort to put balm on Moscow’s growing unease over the Modi government’s growing closeness to Washington, especially in areas of defence supplies and now energy. Indian refiners began importing small quantities of US crude last year. In April, GAIL received its first cargo of shale gas from mainland US.

Courtesy: Times of India