Qatar has agreed in-principle to hike the supply of liquified natural gas from the current five million tonnes to 20 MT within the next ten years to India and both the countries were likely to sign an agreement to this effect by May this year.
"We have agreed in principle to put in place a substantial agreement by May in which India could import 20 MT of LNG from Qatar by 2015. Accordingly, a high-level team of Indian officials would tour that country by the month end and sort out the nitty-gritties on the matter," Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar told reporters after meeting visiting Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani in New Delhi on Friday.
Aiyar said after the tour of the Indian team, a Qatari delegation would visit India during which the agreement would be inked. "If we have 20 MT of LNG by 2015 from Qatar, then one-third of our LNG needs would be met by that country," he said.
Aiyar said he had suggested to the Qatari leader that both the nations should also enter into an agreement on promoting engineering consultancy and general services.
"We have a huge pool of technically-trained people and we need to think about them as well."The minister said the nation would provide required support to those Indian companies willing to invest in Qatar and informed that the Qatar government would also cooperate with these companies.