Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) Dharmendra Pradhan.
Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) Dharmendra Pradhan during the inaugurated the project office of GAIL Haldia-Jagdishpur Pipeline in Patna, on 25 May, 2015.IANS

Qatar on Thursday agreed to reduce the price of gas it exports to India on a long-term contract by nearly $6 billion as the global energy markets continue to witness a slump.

The energy-rich country has also waived the Rs 12,000 crore penalty it had imposed on India for 'short-lifting' in 2015.

Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL), India's biggest gas importer, has signed a revised long-term contract with the Qatar-based RasGas. As per the revised formula, the price of imported gas will fall to $6-7 per million British thermal unit (Btu) as against $12-13 per mm Btu, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

The reworked formula will be applicable to annual Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) of 7.5 million tonnes to be imported by India from RasGas on a long-term contract ending in April 2028, Pradhan told PTI.

"Media reports have cited that RasGas of Qatar and Petronet LNG are renegotiating contract for the long-term sourcing of LNG. The formula tweaking, if it happens, will bring down the price of long term LNG, which is currently 50% more expensive than spot LNG," Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL, had said in November.

According to the revised formula, the price of gas will now be calculated by taking into account a three month average of Brent crude oil prices, replacing the existing five-year average of a basket of crude imported by Japan.

Currently, the three-month average of Brent crude price is about $44 a barrel compared to the five-year average of Japan Crude Cocktail that stood at $94 by the end of September.

Pradhan said, "Qatar will also not seek Rs 12,000 crore from PLL for 'under-lifting' LNG from RasGas by 32%."

Gas stocks soared after the media reported that RasGas has agreed to revise its long-term contract with Petronet LNG.

While the stock price of Petronet LNG ended 3% higher at Rs 254.85 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Gas Authority of India (GAIL) shares closed at Rs 375.40, up 2%.

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