Gail India Gets Two Bids to Ship U.S. Shale Gas; Shares Gain

Gail India Ltd., the South Asian country’s biggest gas transporter, said it got bids from two groups to transport shale gas from the U.S. Shares jumped the most in more than a month.

The state-run company’s spokeswoman Vandana Chanana declined to name the bidders, saying Gail India won’t elaborate on commercial matters that aren’t public yet. Gail had originally floated a tender two years ago, calling for nine LNG vessels to help ship the gas starting 2017-18.

Gail shares advanced 4.1 percent to 366.35 rupees on Tuesday in Mumbai, the biggest gain since March 3.

The shipping tender, which closed on March 31 after several extensions since last year, seeks tankers that can carry 150,000-180,000 cubic meters of LNG, three of which must be built locally to help advance Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative aimed at creating jobs.

The New Delhi-based firm bought one of the first shipments of LNG from Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass project in Louisiana on spot basis, making it the first Asian importer of U.S. shale gas. Gail will import about 6 million metric tons of gas from the U.S. beginning 2018, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in an interview in New Delhi on March 28.

It has agreed to buy 3.5 million metric tons of LNG a year for two decades from Sabine Pass, which is expected to start supplies in March 2018. It has also booked 2.3 million tons a year capacity at the Cove Point LNG liquefaction terminal in Maryland, which is set to commence deliveries in December 2017.

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