US Energy Secretary to visit India to discuss shale gas export

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will be travelling to India in less than a fortnight, during which he is expected to discuss the issue of shale gas export with Indian counterparts.

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2013, 14:21 PM IST

Washington: US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will be travelling to India in less than a fortnight, during which he is expected to discuss the issue of shale gas export with Indian counterparts.

"I will be in India in two weeks," Moniz said yesterday during a Congressional hearing in which a lawmaker raised the issue of shale gas export to India.

This would be Moniz's first trip to India in this capacity. An American nuclear physicist, Moniz was sworn in as the 13th Energy Secretary of the United States on May 21.

"I will be evaluating the export applications on a case-by-case basis, expeditiously," Moniz said in response to a question from Congressman Pete Olson, who argued in favor of export of shale gas to India.

Under current laws, shale gas can't be exported to countries with which the US does not have a free trade agreement (FTA). Recently the Department of Energy approved one license for export to shale gas to a non-FTA country.

Olson said that exporting shale gas to a country like India is in the national security interest of the United States.

The lawmaker said that LNG exports can sustain US's national security -- strengthen it by developing relationships with countries that are important to the US.

"Our relationship with India is key, and our Indian allies can either buy gas from us or from nations like Iran," Olson said.

PTI