Qatar Petroleum eyes ADB stake in Petronet LNG

Global natural gas giant Qatar Petroleum (QP) has expressed interest to buy Asian Development Bank's (ADB's) 5.2-per cent stake in Indian gas major Petronet LNG, PTI reported on Tuesday.

Doha-based QP, which operates all oil and natural gas activities in the Gulf state, is one of the world's largest oil and gas companies by reserves. It holds majority stakes in the world's two largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies QatarGas and RasGas.

RasGas, in which QP holds 70-per cent interest, supplies 7.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG to Petronet on a long-term basis. It is also a potential supplier for Petronet LNG's upcoming projects in Kochi and Andhra Pradesh.

QP's stake purchase in Petronet will lead to a conflict situation, sources said. Buying the stake could mean a board position for QP in the company that could give it undue advantage over other competing suppliers in India's largest LNG importer, particularly with regard to the price and other terms of contract.

According to sources, ADB has been interested to sell its stake in Petronet since last year.

Other stakeholders of Petronet, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Co Ltd (BPCL), had shown interest to buy the ADB the stake, but the country's oil ministry blocked the move as it would have turned Petronet into a public sector company. Subsequently, the offer came to Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), the wholly owned investment arm of QP.