India today began to import natural gas from the US. The first shipment of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) under the 20-year deal being flagged off from Louisiana, reports from PTI.
The GAIL India has contracted 3.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass liquefaction facility in Louisiana.
"The cargo has been loaded on-board GAILs first chartered LNG ship Meridian Spirit. This LNG cargo originated from Cheniere Energy's LNG export facility at Sabine Pass LNG project," GAIL said in a statement. "The cargo will discharge LNG at Dabhol terminal of GAIL (in Maharashtra) on or around 28th of this month."
In 1975, the US had stopped exporting oil and the ban was lifted in 2015, by the former US President Barack Obama.
GAIL had entered into a sale and purchases agreement (SPA) with the Cheniere Energy; a US-based LNG exporter in December 2011. The SPA came into effect on March 1. Under the terms of the agreement, Cheniere will sell and make available for delivery to GAIL about 3.5 million tonnes of LNG a year.
In the presence of Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco and GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B C Tripathi at the Sabine Pass, the ship set sailing after a ceremony, to mark the occasion.
"The commencement of this agreement marks the start of a long and productive relationship between Cheniere and GAIL," said Fusco.
"With supplies commencing from the US, GAIL will have a diversified portfolio both on price indexation and geographical locations," Tripathi said. "This long-term agreement would go in a long way in strengthening the relationship between GAIL and Cheniere and reinforcing India-US trade ties."