A Total oil refinery in Dunkirk in 2010. Photo: Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Total SA is acquiring a 37% stake in the Indian gas distribution firm Adani Gas as the French energy giant looks to capitalize on rising LNG demand in the world's second-most populous nation.

Why it matters: The roughly $600 million deal announced Monday will give Total "a footprint in a market where annual LNG demand will hit 28 million tons by 2023, making it the fourth biggest importer of the fuel," Bloomberg reports. Total is already the world's second-largest LNG player.

The big picture: "Total is the third foreign oil major to enter India’s gas sector after BP PLC and Shell, and it comes at a time when India is spending heavily to cut its carbon emissions," Reuters notes.

What they're saying: "Total’s investment in Adani is undoubtedly a show of faith in India’s gas demand growth," the research firm Wood Mackenzie said in a note.

  • They point out that India wants gas to meet 15% of its energy demand by 2030, up from 6% today.
  • And while they don't see India hitting that target, their note still sees major demand growth in that timeframe and projects that LNG will meet half of it.

Go deeper: Facing climate change, ExxonMobil ramps up energy research

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Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of noon ET: 20,391,697 — Total deaths: 744,211— Total recoveries: 12,625,076Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,161,612 — Total deaths: 164,690 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  5. Education: Gallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
  6. World: Lebanon reports coronavirus record, UN warns Beirut blast may drive cases higher
46 mins ago - World

U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.