LNG buyers seize upper hand in global gas contract reviews
* Global LNG supply deals face round of renegotiations
* Low demand, rising supply gives buyers upper hand
* Buyers want greater control over supply & reduced deliveries
By Oleg Vukmanovic and Sarah McFarlane
ROME, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Global oversupply and sliding prices are pushing big natural gas buyers of LNG from India to China to look at reworking long-term agreements in what was for long a producer-controlled market.
Banking on a tide of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply from the United States, Australia and Russia hitting markets through 2021, importers are seizing the chance to wring concessions from existing producers wary of losing market share.
Top exporter Qatar, traditionally averse to granting concessions, rolled over in a major contract dispute with India's Petronet last month is likely to trigger a sweep of reviews, as buyers rush to exploit the precedent, say industry sources.
"A year to 18 months ago, sellers could get what they wanted. But now they will do whatever they can within reason to keep those customers," said one LNG industry source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A taste of what could come was seen in 2010-2014 when Russian gas producer Gazprom gave its European pipeline clients, smarting from steep import bills, deep discounts to avert arbitrations and repair ties. Continuación...