Birds fly past the logo of India’s state-owned natural gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd installed on its corporate office building in New Delhi. File/ Reuters
India’s largest gas transmitter GAIL is open to buying Russian oil and gas assets shunned by Western companies after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine if the deal made commercial sense, the company’s Chairman Manoj Jain said on Friday.
European countries and the United States have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. and the EU has proposed its toughest package of punishments yet, including a ban on crude oil in 6 months.
India has tried to balance its ties with Russia and the West but unlike other members of the Quad countries – the United States, Japan and Australia – it has not imposed sanctions on Russia.
“Why would anyone say no (to Russian assets) if it makes commercial sense,” Jain told reporters at post-earnings press conference. GAIL reported a 39% rise in quarterly profit.
GAIL is considering buying gas from challenging local fields to address surging local demand for natural gas, including striking long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deals with global companies.
Jain said GAIL is scouting for a 10-year deal to annually import 1 million tonnes of LNG.
Natural gas buyers in Asia are seeking to lock in supplies via long-term contracts as a buffer against volatile global prices, in moves that will reverse the last decade’s trend of increasing spot purchases.
GAIL has a long-term gas import deal with Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore to buy an average 2.5 million tonnes of per year.