January 30, 2019 / 5:06 PM / 5 months ago

Gail India sells U.S. LNG cargoes

The logo of India's state-owned natural gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd is pictured on its corporate office building in New Delhi, India, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

LONDON (Reuters) - India’s state-owned gas distribution company Gail has flooded the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market this month with offers to sell cargoes from the U.S. Gulf due to a shortage of tankers available to ferry to fuel to India.

The Indian importer has 20-year deals to buy 5.8 million tonnes a year of U.S. LNG, split between Dominion Energy’s Cove Point plant and Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass site.

On Wednesday, Gail issued two tenders to sell U.S. volumes, trade sources said. In one tender, Gail has offered to sell a cargo from the Cove Point plant on Apr. 27-29 and buy a cargo for delivery in India on Feb. 20-22 or March 1-7.

In another tender, it has offered two cargoes for loading from Sabine Pass, one cargo for lifting in July and another in November. The tender closes on Feb. 1.

“(Gail is) inherently short (on shipping)... They are certainly not able to lift all the cargoes they have from the U.S. on the tonnage they have,” a shipbroker said.

The two tenders came less than two weeks after Gail offered cargoes from Cove Point and three from Sabine Pass for loading in 2020.

There was strong demand for these cargoes, with winners including Glencore, sources said. UK-based BP could also be one of the winners as it is long on shipping and may use the volumes to optimise the use of its fleet, sources said.

Last year, Gail also made several swap deals with U.S. volumes.

Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova; Editing by Mark Potter

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