ONGC Looks to Buy Out Shell Hazira

Monday, November 21, 2005
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will soon make an offer for a complete buyout of the Hazira LNG terminal of Royal Dutchhell, according to a Business Standard report. Unlike Hindustan Petroleum Corporation , which is interested in picking up 26 percent equity in Shell Hazira, ONGC is mulling a total buyout of the LNG import and regasification terminal. Shell Hazira is finding it difficult to market LNG in India at the prevailing global prices. Its sole customer, Gujarat State Petronet Corporation, lifts LNG when there is demand from the customers in the state. In the absence of long-term supply agreements with Indian consumers, Shell Hazira picks up floating cargoes of LNG and brings the same to the Hazira terminal for sale at prevailing global LNG prices. This makes it difficult for Shell to reduce its offer price to Indian buyers, according to the report. On the other hand, Petronet LNG, a consortium of public sector companies importing LNG through Dahej terminal, has a long-term supply arrangement with RasGas of Qatar, which provides it with much required flexibility of entering into long-term sales agreements with the buyers. As such, it makes sense for ONGC to have a LNG terminal of its own. Source: Business Standard

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