At a time when four nations — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt — are reportedly severing diplomatic ties with Qatar for having relations with Iran and some terror groups, New Delhi plans to honour its long-term contracts with Doha which are crucial for its domestic energy security.
“The decision to not do business with Qatar has been taken by a bunch of countries but India is not part of it. We will honour our long-term contracts with Qatar and expect it to keep supplies on as we cannot compromise our national energy security,” said a government official.
The four gulf nations will stop air and sea travel to Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas. Saudi Arabia has also decided to block the only land passage for Qatar which runs through the former’s territory.
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India imports huge quantities of LNG from Qatar with India’s Petronet LNG importing 8.5 million tonne every year under a long-term contract apart from buying through spot deals.
Earlier, news reports quoted Petronet LNG stating the company will continue to to receive LNG as the cargo is received directly through the sea route. “The decision, if at all, to limit business will be taken by the ministry of external affairs and not by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas,” said the government official.
While India’s natural gas production has marginally improved in the last fiscal, 80% of its needs are met through imports.