Mumbai: Gas firm Petronet LNG will bid for gas blocks in Australia's next licensing round, as it intents to join coal bed methane (CBM) projects in that country.
Petronet plans to source around 7-12 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year from the CBM projects and is open to buying equity if allowed, chief executive Prosad Dasgupta said.
He said some CBM projects that were local suppliers were now looking at producing additional volumes as reserves increased.
"The focus is gas. If I have to invest to secure supply, I will do it," Dasgupta said. He said the investment would, however, depend on the equity they are prepared to offer, if at all they are going to offer.
Australia will announce the blocks to be offered under its next asset auction in early April.
Dasgupta, who returned from Australia last week, had a meeting with officials in Western Australia and the federal government.
Petronet is also in talks to buy Exxon's share of 3.75 million tonnes a year LNG from Australia's Gorgon project. It plans to bring Gorgon LNG through a new terminal at Kochi, which is expected to be commissioned in 2011.
Petronet is also in talks with Algeria, Oman, Egypt, Qatar and Trinidad & Tobago for long-term contracts as it plans to ramp up capacity at its Dahej terminal in Gujarat to 10 million tonnes by December from the current 6.5 million tonnes.
Petronet now gets 5 million tonnes a year from RasGas under a long-term LNG deal with Qatar, and that will be raised to 7.5 million tonnes from 2009.