Ready to meet India''s LNG needs: Qatar

New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) Qatar today said it was readyto increase supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meetIndia''s requirements and to facilitate the participation ofIndian companies in the oil and gas sector.

Qatar''s proposal for wide-ranging cooperation in the areaof banking supervision and exchange of information to combatmoney laundering and terror financing was also welcomed byIndia.

These discussions took place during the India-Qatar HighLevel Monitoring Mechanism (HLMM), co-chaired by T K A Nair,Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Khalid binMohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for InternationalCooperation of the State of Qatar.

Currently, India is importing 7.5 million tonnes of LNGannually from Qatar and Indian companies such as NTPC andPetronet are in discussions with that country for addition5-10 million tonnes per year.

"In the hydrocarbon sector, the Qatari side conveyedtheir readiness to increase supply of LNG to meet India''srequirements and to facilitate the participation of Indiancompanies in the oil and gas sector in Qatar," an officialstatement, issued after the meeting here, said.

Qatar is the biggest supplier of gas to the US but due togas glut in America, the Arab country is diverting itssupplies to Asian countries such as India and China.

The HLMM was set up pursuant to a decision taken by thePrime Ministers of India and Qatar during the visit of PrimeMinister Manmohan Singh to Qatar in November 2008 and ismandated to monitor the progress in the implementation of theareas of cooperation agreed to by the leaders of the twocountries in order to enhance bilateral cooperation.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the progressmade in agreed areas of cooperation and agreed on specificsteps to further intensify cooperation in areas such aspetrochemicals, fertilisers, power, banking and financesector, civil aviation and HRD.

According to the statement, the Joint Working Group onFertiliser is to meet in Doha shortly in order to discusslong-term cooperation in the fertiliser sector.

The Qatari side also highlighted its interest in gettingaccess to PSU disinvestments via the Anchor investor route. Ananchor investor cannot be a promoter of the issuer firm and isallotted a reserved stock in any company.

The investment opportunities in the Kayamkulam expansionproject of NTPC would be evaluated by the Qatar InvestmentAuthority as also in renewable energy projects.

The Indian side welcomed the proposal of the Qatari sidefor wide-ranging cooperation in the area of bankingsupervision and exchange of information to combat moneylaundering and terror financing.

The two sides agreed that the Fourth Meeting of the HLMMwould be held in Doha in the first quarter of 2012.

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