India becomes first Asian importer of US shale gas

India has become the first country in Asia to buy US shale gas after state-owned GAIL India Ltd. booked a ship of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana. GAIL bought the cargo on spot basis and will receive it at the Dabhol LNG import terminal in Maharashtra, a company official said. 
This would mark the start of US LNG exports into India, which last year overtook South Korea as the world’s second biggest importer of the fuel on a spot and short-term basis as buyers. The official said the delivered price of the US shale gas cargo is about USD 5 per million British thermal units. 
This will be the second export cargo from Sabine Pass terminal. The first batch of LNG from the terminal was shipped to Brazil in February, marking the start of US shale gas exports. A third cargo of the gas is also set to go to Brazil. Cheniere Energy plans to ship up to eight cargoes of LNG from Sabine Pass project by May. 
GAIL had previously signed up agreement to buy 3.5 million tonnes of LNG a year for two decades from Sabine Pass. It has also booked 2.3 million tonnes a year capacity in the Cove Point LNG liquefaction terminal in Maryland. The shipments are expected to start in 2017 or 2018. 
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