France’s Total says in partnership talks with Indian gas firms, after report of possible tie up with Adani

Adani, IOC, BPCL, Torrent big winners of city gas licences

Total SA has also expressed its interest in setting up petrol pumps in India.. (Reuters)

French energy giant Total SA Tuesday said it is looking to enter Indian gas market through partnerships with local companies and currently holding discussions with multiple companies to acquire a stake in city gas distribution projects and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals.

The development comes a day after PTI reported that the French firm is eying to grab a pie in growing Indian gas market and is in talks to acquire up to 50% stake in Adani’s Gujarat LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects and in an under-construction LPG import facility in Odisha.

“We are in discussion with many players (for a stake in liquefied natural gas import terminals),” Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne told media on Tuesday, without disclosing further details. “City gas is an interesting business,” he added.

The energy major has also expressed its interest in setting up petrol pumps in India. “We need to have a license for that (petrol, diesel retailing). We need to get a license, so we are working on that,” he said.

To become eligible for setting up petrol pumps to retail diesel and petrol a company is required to have invested minimum Rs 2,000 crore in oil and gas infrastructure like refineries, pipelines, import terminals and oil and gas fields.

ALSO READ: Adani’s LNG projects grab Total attention; French giant mulls buying stake, tap India’s gas market

Over the next few years, the Indian government is aiming to raise the share of natural gas in its energy basket to 15% and therefore giving a push to city gas distribution projects. Currently, the Indian government meets half of the country’s gas requirements through imports.

Recently, Total SA exited Hazira LNG terminal in Gujarat by selling its 26% equity holding in the project to Royal Dutch Shell. It had picked up the stake in 2004 in the 2.5 million tonnes per annum terminal, the capacity of which was raised to 5 million tonnes per annum in 2013.

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