India's GAIL Explores Up to 26% Equity Stake in US LNG Projects

(Reuters) — India's largest gas distributor GAIL (India) Ltd. is looking to buy an equity stake of up to 26% in an LNG liquefaction plant or project in the United States, according to a document issued by the company.

GAIL had run into supply disruptions last year after Russia-owned Gazprom Marketing and Trading (GMTS) failed to deliver some LNG cargoes, following western sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

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The company is, either directly or through its affiliates, "exploring the opportunity" to buy equity from an existing or post-commissioning of a proposed LNG liquefaction plant or project in the U.S., the document dated Feb. 16 said.

It did not say how much the Indian gas distributor had earmarked for any possible deal.

"In addition, GAIL, directly or through any of its affiliates, is interested to source 1 million tonnes per annum LNG from the LNG liquefaction plant or project on a free-on-board basis for a period of 15 years on mutually acceptable terms and conditions," it said.

The document added that the LNG supply contract period may be extended further by 5 or 10 years on a mutual basis, and that supplies are to commence tentatively from the last quarter of 2026.

The last date for interested companies to submit their bids to GAIL is March 10, the document said.

GAIL is looking for long-term gas import deals to make up for its disrupted supplies and is in talks with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and other parties to source gas to meet local demand, GAIL's head of finance said in January.

GAIL had signed a 20-year deal with GMTS in 2012 for annual purchases of an average of 2.5 million tonnes of LNG.

GMTS was a unit of Gazprom Germania, now called Sefe, but the parent abandoned the business last April after the western sanctions.

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