‘India’s deal on import of LNG from US to be milestone in ties’

India’s 20-year deal on import of natural gas from the US would be a “milestone” in bilateral ties and go a long way in strengthening and reinforcing trade relations between the two countries, Consul General of India Anupam Ray has said here.

State-owned gas utility GAIL India has contracted 3.5 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass liquefaction facility in Louisiana.

GAIL had signed a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with the US LNG exporter Cheniere Energy in December 2011. The SPA went into effect March 1.

Under terms of the agreement, Cheniere will sell and make available for delivery to GAIL about 3.5 million tonnes a year of LNG.

Amidst celebratory spirits, GAIL (India)’s first LNG consignment on ship ‘Meridian Spirit’ was flagged off by Ray yesterday at Ceniere Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

“It is a milestone in India-US relations as American LNG for GAIL India is flagged off from US Gulf coast. The US has recently started exporting LNG and India is a major buyer.

Win-win for both nations – a market for a major US industry and a reliable energy source for India,” Ray said.

“This long term agreement would go a long way in strengthening the relationship between GAIL and Cheniere and reinforcing India-US trade ties,” he said.

The ceremony was also attended by Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco and GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B C Tripathi.

Various Texas Congressman appreciated the initiative and got on to their tweets. Congressman Ted Poe representing the second district of the of Texas tweeted that, ” it is a great news for TX! India has contracted to buy $2 billion of US LNG annually for 10 yrs. Excellent for job creation in TX, & is a milestone in US-India economic relations”.

Congressman Pete Olson representing TX-22 in Congress tweeted, “Excited for liquid freedom more US LNG heading from Houston to India! Economic win for Texas and our ally India”.