DUBAI/NEW DELHI - Top liquefied natural gas exporter Qatar Energy said it remains committed to being a trusted partner for energy supplies in India and does not miss shipments it is contractually obligated to deliver.
Reuters had earlier reported, citing two sources, that India, grappling with its worst power crisis in five years, had asked Qatar to expedite delivery of 58 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes that had been delayed.
But V. K. Mishra, head of finance at Petronet LNG Ltd, clarified on Thursday that his firm had deferred the lifting of 50 cargoes, using 'downward flexibilty' allowed in its long-term deal with Qatar.
Petronet, India's top gas importer, has a long-term contract running through 2028 to purchase 7.5 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas from Qatar.
"We remain committed to being the trusted partner for energy supplies in India and around the world," Qatar Energy said in a statement late on Wednesday.
Mishra said Indian maket is 'starving' for cheaper LNG after a spike in prices in the spot market.
"We used that downward flexibility to take less cargoes in the previous years..now we are asking Qater to expedite the delivery of those cargoes," he said.
Spot LNG prices are about $40/million British thermal units comapred to about $10-$12 under the long-term contracts.
"Qatar has time till 2028 to clear the back log but we are requesting them to expedite the supply, he said.
(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous and Nidhi Verma; Editing by Kim Cohill) ((firstname.lastname@example.org;))