Faced with a shortfall in gas production from its KG-D6 field, Reliance Industries Ltd is set to make its debut in the marketing of imported natural gas.
India Gas Solutions, the equal joint venture between RIL and British Petroleum set up to source and market natural gas in India, will shortly bring in liquefied natural gas through the terminals of Shell India and Petronet LNG.
Company executives said RIL was in talks to book capacity at Shell Hazira Gas Private Ltd, a joint venture between Anglo-Dutch energy company Shell and France's Total, and Petronet LNG's Dahej terminal.
"We are in talks with various LNG terminal operators to book exclusive capacity at the existing LNG terminals. We want to get capacity and bring in gas to market. We would be paying them toll charges," said an RIL executive.
An RIL spokesperson declined comment.
The booked capacity at these terminals could be anywhere between two and three million tonnes per annum, depending on what the terminals will have on offer.
India currently has two LNG terminals, both in Gujarat, that have been bringing in LNG from across the world. Though Shell has been offering capacity at the terminal on a merchant basis, PLL promoters so far market regasified LNG themselves.
An executive from Shell Hazira said, "The company is in talks with all players who wish to book capacity at its terminal."
At present, Hazira Terminal operates at an annual capacity of 3.6 million tonnes. Petronet's Dahej terminal can handle up to 11.5 million tonnes of LNG.
Petronet is owned by state-controlled Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and GAIL India (each with 12.5 per cent stake) in addition to France's GDF Suez, with 10 per cent interest, the Asian Development Bank with 5.2 per cent and public shareholders with the remaining 34.8 per cent.
RIL and BP had last November set up India Gas Solutions as part of an agreement reached in February whereby BP picked up 30 per cent stake in 23 oil and gas blocks of RIL, including the flagship KG-D6 gas fields.
According to data available from Platts till March 2012, RIL has been buying an average of one or two cargoes every month since April 2011 for use at its refinery and petrochemicals units.
RIL gets around 10 million standard cubic metres of regasified LNG per day for captive use at its Jamnagar refineries.