(EnergyAsia, August 31 2012, Friday) — GAIL (India) Limited has signed an agreement to import 12 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from France’s GDF SUEZ in 2013 and 2014.

Weighing a total of 800,000 tons, the agreement will contribute to meeting India’s fast-growing energy demand, said GDF SUEZ. Indian natural gas consumption is expected to grow from 58 billion cubic metres in 2012 to 110 billion cubic metres in 2020.

B. C. Tripathi, chairman and managing director of GAIL, India’s leading natural gas company, said:

“This agreement with GDF SUEZ is yet another step by GAIL to bridge the demand supply deficit of the Indian market in the medium term. This is in addition to other initiatives of GAIL towards LNG sourcing, creating LNG regasification infrastructure and augmenting transmission capacity significantly during the next two to three years. With this step, we look forward to strengthen our partnership with GDF SUEZ in the future. GAIL will continue to make assiduous efforts to tie-up affordable LNG in its portfolio to meet the rapidly growing energy demand of the Indian market.”

Jean-Marie Dauger, GDF SUEZ’s executive vice president in charge for global gas and LNG businesses, said:

“Our natural gas portfolio is permanently optimized and thanks to its flexibility we are able to direct LNG volumes to the Asian market in response to its increasing LNG demand. Between 2010 and 2016, GDF SUEZ is planning to deliver about 10.8 million tons to Kogas, CNOOC, Petronas, Petronet, PTT and GAIL. These agreements with key Asian energy players show GDF SUEZ strategic commitment to the region.”

GAIL has been expanding its global presence to secure long term gas supplies. It has  signed a 20-year agreement to import 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per year from Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC, a unit of US-based Cheniere Energy Partners. GAIL has also agreed to purchase 38 million standard cubic feet/day of LNG from Turkemnistan’s Turkmengaz for 30 years through the proposed TAPI pipeline.

The Indian company has set up a wholly- owned subsidiary, GAIL Global (Singapore) Pte Ltd, in Singapore to source for LNG and petrochemicals, as well as acquired a 20% stake in Carrizo’s Eagle Ford Shale acreage position in the US.