GAIL India, the biggest natural gas company in the country is looking to buy an interest in an LNG export project in the United States.
The move comes as competition for limited LNG supply intensifies despite a slump in prices due to Europe’s lower demand for the superchilled fuel.
According to an expression of interest, published by the Indian company on its website, it is open to acquiring a stake in either an existing LNG export facility or one that is still in the planning stage.
As regards volume, GAIL said in the expression of interest it was looking to buy 1 million tons of LNG annually from the facility it buys into, beginning in 2026.
India’s government plans to increase the share of natural gas in its power generation mix from 6 percent currently to 15 percent by 2030 and long-term deals are clearly one safe way of doing that. However, intensified competition for LNG cargoes has reduced the amount of available gas for long-term deals.
Earlier this year, another Indian gas major, Petronet, said it was looking for annual LNG purchases of up to 12 million tons in additional supply under new long-term deals. ADNOC and Novatek are among the companies discussing such deals with the Indian gas importer.
The government, meanwhile, is working to expand India’s LNG import terminal capacity by 53 percent from the current 22.5 million tons in the medium term.
There are a dozen new LNG projects in the planning stage in the United States but, per recent Reuters calculations, just three of these have a chance of getting a final investment decision this year.
If these projects do materialize, they would turn the United States into the biggest LNG producer in the world, overtaking both Qatar and Australia, and bringing more LNG to markets. This should support plans by Asian governments not just in India to reduce their reliance on coal in favor of gas.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com