GAIL to hire LNG tankers for transporting US gas to India

GAIL (India) Ltd, the state-owned gas supplier, plans to charter six or seven oil tankers for transporting its liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the US from 2017, the company's chairman and managing director B C Tripathi said at a seminar in Singapore today.

The ships would be used for transporting six million tonnes of GAIL's contracted LNG cargoes, which are on a  free-on-board (FoB) basis, Tripathi said at the Singapore EnergyWeek seminar.

GAIL would also swap its US cargoes with those available from other sources. The shipping and trading would be handled by the company's Singapore subsidiary, GAIL Global.

Tripathi said the Singapore office would trade its 1 MT of American LNG in the spot market.

The Singapore office would also buy 7-8 LNG cargoes from the spot market over the next four months for India.

GAIL Singapore would be active in the spot LNG trade, buying around 34 LNG cargoes in the current financial year and 34 to 35 next year, Tripathi said. GAIL bought 20 cargoes in the last fiscal year.

Tripathi said GAIL would participate in the entire chain of LNG from upstream to midstream and end delivery, while stressing the importance of being lead player in LNG trade.

Indian companies participating at the seminar evinced interest in forming partnerships and collaborations to source LNG for the Indian markets.

The companies are looking for gas prices delinked from crude oil-based indices, Tripathi said.

He added that Indian companies would also want to see the buyer-seller relationship turned into collaborations and partnerships.