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Qatar woos buyers with spot LNG after Indian importers cancel cargoes

Qatar Petroleum has made a rare approach to several buyers in Asia and Europe offering liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in the spot market, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The exact volumes offered by Qatar could not be confirmed, but the company has offered the cargoes for loading or delivery in April, depending on the location, the sources said. Two other traders said Qatar had offered about 10 cargoes.

Qatar Petroleum did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Qatar is India’s biggest LNG supplier and Qatar Petroleum’s unit Qatargas is typically a long-term seller of LNG cargoes. Traders said it had likely been forced to seek buyers for its excess cargoes after being issued with a force majeure notice by India’s top gas importer Petronet LNG.

A steep drop in gas demand in Europe due to lockdowns limiting industrial production is also forcing LNG suppliers like Qatar to find alternative buyers, traders said.

LNG tanker Al Sahla, which was supposed to head to Hazira in India on April 1 after loading a cargo from Qatar, is lying idled at Ras Laffan anchorage, said Rebecca Chia, analyst with data intelligence firm Kpler.

Qatar Petroleum recently sold two cargoes to Thailand’s PTT for delivery in May at about $3.05 to $3.15 per million British thermal units, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan, additional reporting by Rania El Gamal in Dubai; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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