“For example, we have some gas booked from Australia and Japan has an import contract with Ras Gas of Qatar…this MoC will have a shopping clause whereby we can arrange for Japan to import from Australia, which is nearer, while India gets that gas from Qatar”, he said.

The arrangement will help Indian companies swap LNG booked with firms overseas with that of Japan’s contracted volumes elsewhere. Under these contracts importers have been contracted to purchase fixed monthly volumes of LNG, irrespective of demand and with no right to re-sell surplus supplies to other consumers.

The Cabinet approved a cargo-swapping arrangement with Japan as part of a broader bilateral pact to create a gas exchange that could reduce India’s logistical costs for natural gas import.

This activity forms part of a growing trend as the world’s biggest LNG buyers, all in Asia, are increasingly clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts – shifting power to importers from exporters in an overstocked market.

“The trainees will be provided with accommodation and job opportunities in Japan”, added Pradhan.

“With Japan, another important pact is being finalised by the Petroleum Ministry”, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan told the media after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

India last month agreed to buy more LNG from the Gorgon project after Exxon Mobil agreed to cut prices under a long-term deal.

India wants to increase its share of gas in its energy mix from about 6.5 per cent now to about 15 per cent in the next few years.

LNG markets have been marked by oversupply since 2014, as production has jumped.