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The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma has requested Qatar to supply immediate requirement of 3 million tonnes of LNG to India. The LNG is to be imported by Petronet LNG Ltd and GAIL. The amount will further increase to 15 million tonnes in the next three to four years. The Qatar Minister of Energy & Industry Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada informed that RasGas, Qatar and Indian agencies are involved in negotiations and assured that needed urgency will be imbued in the proceedings. Both the leaders met in Doha today.

India is currently importing 7.5 MMTPA of LNG from RasGas, Qatar. A 25 year contract in this regard was signed by Petronet LNG limited (PLL) in July 1999. The supply of 5 MMTPA LNG from Qatar commenced in 2004, with the balance 2.5 MMTPA starting in January 2010. India needs additional long-term tie up to 15 MMTPA of LNG. An immediate requirement of 3 million tonnes of LNG was indicated by the Indian side to be imported by Petronet LNG Ltd and GAIL, which will further increase to 15 million tonnes in the next three to four years.

Furthermore, Qatar expressed keen interest in ONGC offer to jointly participate in upstream projects in 3rd countries. ONGC offered its upstream expertise in EOR/IOR, Qatari side welcomed the same and also informed that they are now looking for appropriate EOR/IOR projects.

Minister Sharma asked his Qatari counterpart to use its good offices for pushing India-GCC Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Being GCC Member Qatar may play an important role in this regard. Qatar also expressed its desire for early completion of negotiations.

The total bilateral trade during the last 5 years has increased more than three times from US$ 2.39 billion in 2006-07 to US$ 7.20 billion in 2010-11. The exports from India to Qatar have registered an increased from US$ 331.53 Million to US$ 381.77 Million. Similarly, the imports from Qatar have increased from US$ 2.06 billion in 2006-07 to US$ 6.81 billion in 2010-11. The major Indian exports to Qatar are petroleum (Crude & Products), Manufactures of Metals, Electronic Goods, Machinery and Instruments and Transport Equipment. India’s major imports from Qatar are Petroleum(Crude & Productrs), Organic Chemicals, Artificial Resns, Plastc Matris, etc., Inorganic Chemicals and Sulphr & Unrostd Iron Pyrts.

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