By RAKESH SHARMA
NEW DELHI -- Indias oil companies are exploring opportunities to invest in Canadas liquefied natural gas projects and import gas from there, junior oil minister R.P.N. Singh told lawmakers in a written reply in lower house of Parliament Thursday.
With huge shale gas discoveries in the US and Canada, LNG imports could be cheaper than other sources, he said, but added that transportation and the mechanism of determining LNG prices could affect the economies of LNG imports.
He didn't provide more details on the companies' plans.
In May, state-run explorer Oil India said it was looking at buying a stake in ConocoPhillips Canadian oil sands assets.
In November, state-run GAIL said it may spend as much as $1 billion over a year to acquire shale gas assets in the US and Canada.
In a separate reply to lawmakers, Mr. Singh said local gas output will fall short of demand by 292 million standard cubic meters/day by the fiscal year ending March 2015, adding that the shortfall will likely be met through LNG imports.
With gas demand rising, companies are fast investing in expanding LNG terminal capacity and sealing deals to import the super-cooled fuel, Mr. Singh said.
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