GAIL India, the largest gas distributor in the country, purchased three LNG cargoes last week for over $40 per million British thermal units (mmbtu), traders familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Those are record prices for any LNG cargo to be delivered to India, more than doubling the prices paid last year. It’s also a sign the country is struggling to fill the hole in Russian supplies, as competition with energy-strapped Europe has driven natural gas prices to sky-high levels.
India has become one of Russia’s largest fuel customers since the invasion of Ukraine, but some of those flows have been interrupted as the result of Germany seizing a local branch of Russia’s Gazprom, using that plant to direct supplies to Europe instead ahead of winter.
The plant, which was renamed as Securing Energy for Europe, told GAIL that it no longer had supplies for India, and is currently paying a small fine for not delivering promised LNG shipments in October.
GAIL attempted negotiation with the plant last month, according to GAIL chairman Manoh Jain, but no new deal has been announced yet. Jain claimed last month that failed deliveries from the plant only affected 10%-15% of India’s gas supplies and were not significant, Reuters reported, although he noted that the company was concerned about securing gas supplies in the long-term.