India becomes first Asian country to buy US shale gas

India has become the first country in Asia to buy US shale gas after state-owned GAIL (India) Limited booked a ship of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Cheniere Energy, Inc.’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana. GAIL bought the cargo on a spot basis and will receive it at the Dabhol LNG import terminal in Maharashtra. This will mark the start of US exporting LNG to India. The delivered price of the shale gas cargo is about $5 per million British thermal units. This will be the second export cargo from the Sabine Pass terminal. The first batch of LNG from the terminal was shipped to Brazil in February 2016, and a third cargo of gas is also set to go to Brazil. Cheniere Energy plans to ship up to eight  LNG cargos from the Sabine Pass plant by May 2016. GAIL had previously signed an agreement to buy 3.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG for two decades from Sabine Pass. It has also booked a 2.3 mtpa  capacity in the Cove Point LNG liquefaction terminal in Maryland, USA. The LNG shipments are expected to start in 2017 or 2018.