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French energy giant looks to capitalize on India's LNG market

A Total oil refinery in Dunkirk in 2010.
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.

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