0537 GMT March 19, 2019
According to PTI, state-owned oil firms of India will import one very large gas carrier (VLGC), or 44,000 tons, per month for an initial six-month period, industry sources said.
India imports almost a million tons of LPG every month to meet growing demand that has been further fuelled by the government's drive to give free gas connections to poor women.
LPG consumption in 2016-17 rose 9.8 percent to 21.55 million tons. Of this, 11 million tons were imported.
India mainly imports LPG via term contracts from major Middle East producers such as Saudi Aramco, Qatar's Tasweeq, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Kuwait Petroleum Corp.
Sources said LPG imports will rise over the next three years to 16-17 million tons as the government pushes for making available cooking gas cylinders to the poor and wean them off polluting fuels.
The country is also looking to import LPG from Bangladesh. India had imported 8.8 million tons of LPG in 2015-16.
Imports last year made India the world's second-largest importer of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), behind China. It overtook Japan, which imported 10.6 million tons.
Last May, the Indian government launched a program to provide free cooking gas connection to poor women with a view to cut down on the use of firewood and polluting fuels like dried cow dung.
LPG demand is projected to grow by 9.7 percent to 23.7 million tons in the current fiscal and is likely to touch 35 million tons by 2031-32.