Payments for LNG supplies could be settled in national currencies, the head of the Russian firm has revealed LNG terminals in Surat, Gujarat India. © Getty Images / Puneet Vikram Singh, Nature and Concept photographer

Russia’s largest independent gas producer, Novatek, is in talks with India over long-term contracts on supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the company’s CEO, Leonid Mikhelson, announced on Monday.

Negotiations with several Indian companies are underway as Russia is keen to invest in the country’s energy sector and further expand cooperation, he told reporters on the sidelines of the India Energy Week forum.

“We want to be not just LNG suppliers, Indian engineering companies are already taking part in our projects and there’s a certain share of Indian suppliers in equipment. We want to expand and increase it,” Novatek’s CEO pointed out. Mikhelson added that his company was interested in a broader investment into the Indian market, including the construction of regasification terminals for LNG production.

He also revealed that the sides were considering settling LNG supply payments in national currencies – rupees or rubles – bypassing US dollar transactions.

“We discussed it with the energy minister [Hardeep Singh Puri],” Mikhelson confirmed without specifying exact numbers.

Earlier, Reuters reported that India’s main gas distributor GAIL was discussing the terms of a long-term contract on LNG imports with Novatek. The companies are close to signing a preliminary agreement, according to sources in the industry.

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