(Corrects name of company executive in second paragraph)
KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 India's GAIL (India) Ltd
has around $1 billion to spend on shale gas assets in
North America, which will act as a hedge against planned imports
of U.S. liquefied natural gas, a company executive said on
"We need gas, so equity gas is also required," Prabhat
Singh, director marketing of GAIL India, told reporters on the
sidelines of the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
GAIL signed a deal with U.S.-based Cheniere Energy
in December to buy 3.5 million tonnes of LNG a year under a
20-year contract starting from 2017.
It has also been in talks with Macquarie Energy, which has a
share in the U.S.-based Freeport LNG project, and last year,
agreed to buy a 20-percent stake in one of Carrizo Oil & Gas
Inc's U.S. shale gas assets for $300 million.
India, Asia's third-largest economy, is already the world's
eight-largest importer of LNG. Those imports could rise
five-fold in the next decade as its domestic gas output falls
and demand surges.
(Reporting by Luke Pachymuthu and Rebekah Kebede; Writing by
Randy Fabi; Editing by Ed Davies)