India energy minister targets Asia LNG price reform

By WAYNE MA

SEOUL -- Asia should have its own liquefied natural gas-price index, India's energy minister said on Thursday.

"We are thinking of an Asian index," Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily said.

India and Japan recently said they will form an LNG buyers' group to influence prices. "Ultimately these are the largest consuming countries. There should be a proper measure."

Most LNG sold in Asia is by long-term contract linked to crude-oil prices which have stayed higher than piped-gas prices. "All this oil system should go," Mr. Moily said on the sidelines of a meeting of energy ministers in Seoul.

Asian countries -- the biggest buyers of LNG shipped by sea -- can pay five or six times more than consumers of piped gas in North America, where prices have fallen because increased supply from shale deposits.

India's weakening currency has made LNG imports even more expensive.


Dow Jones Newswires

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