IN HIS first engagement after arriving in Houston, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the CEOs and senior executives of 17 global energy companies Saturday and they discussed ways to deepen cooperation as part of the strategic partnership.
“The CEOs talked about enhancing their footprint in India. They lauded the government’s efforts towards Ease of Doing Business, steps taken towards deregulation in the sector, supported reforms and policies and were upbeat on the Indian economy,” MEA official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
The combined net worth of these energy companies is US$1 trillion with a presence in 150 countries — all of them have some engagement with or presence in India.
They include: Baker Hughes, BP, Cheniere Energy, Dominion Energy, Emerson Electric Company, ExxonMobil, Perot Group and Hillwood, IHS Markit, LyondellBasell Industries, McDermott, Schlumberger, Tellurian, Total, Air Products, Vinmar International and Westlake Chemicals.
After the meeting, it was announced that US natural gas company Tellurian and India’s largest LNG importer Petronet LNG Ltd have signed an MoU for imports up to 5 million tonnes of LNG from America.
The deal will also include PLL’s equity investment in Tellurian’s Driftwood project after further negotiations on the terms and size of the deal.
A statement from Tellurian said the MoU was signed in Modi’s presence. “Petronet, India’s largest LNG importer, will be able to deliver clean, low-cost, and reliable natural gas to India from Driftwood. Increasing natural gas use will enable India to fuel its impressive economic growth to achieve Prime Minister Modi’s goal of a $5 trillion economy while contributing to a cleaner environment,” Tellurian’s president and CEO Meg Gentle said in a statement.
Tellurian and Petronet hope to finalise the transaction agreements by March 31, 2020.
Petronet, which has a market capitalisation of approximately $5.1 billion, developed the country’s first LNG receiving and regasification terminal at Dahej, Gujarat (17.5 mtpa), and another in Kochi, Kerala (5 mtpa).
The US began selling crude oil to India in 2017 — in 2017-18, US supplies were just 1.4 million tonnes. It jumped over four-fold in 2018-19 to 6.4 million tonnes valued at billion. Yet, the US accounts for less than 5% of India’s total imports, which opens the way for enhanced cooperation in this sector.
The meeting with the CEOs was held at Hotel Post Oak, and an MEA spokesperson said its “objective… was to deepen our energy cooperation as part of our strategic energy partnership”.
The Prime Minister had a “fruitful” meeting with CEOs on the first day of his week-long US visit, MEA said.