The Barack Obama administration is likely to open North America's doors to India for its energy needs as it pushes New Delhi to reduce its energy dependence on "nuclear armed" Iran.
This hydrocarbon sop for India - oil, cooking and shale gas - is scheduled to figure in the third round of Indo-US strategic dialogue in Washington on June 13.
Impending sanctions against Iran, difficulties in the oil payment mechanism, the looming threat of strike against Tehran and the ongoing instability in West Asia have compelled India to scout and diversify its hydrocarbon sources for its energy hungry growing population.
During the strategic dialogue, discussions are expected on diversification of India's energy sources. Simultaneously, the two countries will hold energy consultations where the Indian delegation will be led by Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Official sources hinted the issue of US supply of shale gas to India would figure prominently during the talks.
North America has emerged on India's radar as an attractive and viable source of hydrocarbon. During US special energy envoy Carlos Pascual's visit last month, India's petroleum ministry submitted a proposal to import additional LNG from the US.
Details of the proposal are not yet known but it is understood that the issue will figure during energy consultations in the coming week.
However, the US LNG supply cannot be a reality in the near future. The US energy department is currently assessing how exports could affect job creation, trade and the domestic price of natural gas and is expected to release a report on this later this year.
Washington currently allows exports of small amounts of LNG. According to a deal Cheniere Energy signed last year with Gas Authority of Indian Limited, India will import 3.5 million tons of liquid gas per year starting 2017. India is in talks with Qatar and Australia for long-term LNG supply.
Courtesy: Mail Today