The two 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 visit Qatar by the month-end and sort out the nitty-gritties on the matter," Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said after meeting the 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.
Aiyar said, apart from importing LNG, India was also concerned over ensuring the entire hydrocarbon value chain. He said he has also invited Qatar to invest in sectors like petroleum and petro-products, including upstream and downstream projects, besides power and heavy engineering.
However, Aiyar also lashed out at the previous NDA government for its alleged failure to fructify such agreements with any West Asian nation during its tenure. "They dragged their feet on such matters and wasted many opportunities."
The Qatar deputy premier said that a high-level committee would look into the matter and sort out various issues. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem said his nation was not comfortable with the present oil prices.