India's GAIL signs 10-yr LNG purchase deal with Vitol

(Reuters) - State-run GAIL Ltd said it has signed a 10-year LNG import deal with trader Vitol to buy about 1 MMtpy of the super-chilled fuel from 2026.

Indian companies are investing billions of dollars to build natural gas infrastructure and are scouting for long-tern LNG imports deals as the nation wants to raise the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from the current 6.3%.

Vitol will deliver LNG from its global LNG portfolio to GAIL at various locations in India, GAIL said in a statement.

"This long-term LNG deal with Vitol by GAIL will augment its large LNG portfolio and will contribute to bridging India's demand and supply gap of natural gas," GAIL chairman Sandeep Kumar Gupta said in a statement.

Gas consumption in India would rise to over 500 million standard cubic meters a day (mmscmd) by 2030 from the present 155 mmscmd, oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said this week.

GAIL has an LNG portfolio of around 14 MMtpy comprising supplies from countries including the USA, Qatar, Australia and Russia, according to its 2022/23 annual report.

GAIL is continuing negotiations with others for long term deals, its head of marketing, Sanjay Kumar, said.

The company plans to add 7 million to 8 MMtpy of LNG to its portfolio by 2030, its head of finance said last year.

GAIL, which operates a 5 MMtpy LNG plant in Western Maharashtra State, has also leased space at other Indian terminals. It is scouting for a 26% stake in a U.S.-based LNG plant to source 1 MMtpy of LNG for 15 years.

It is also in talks with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co and Russian LNG producer Novatek, and Qatar to source LNG.

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