India's GAIL, former Gazprom unit should resolve gas supply issue: minister

FILE PHOTO: Indian Petroleum Minister Puri launches an auction of offshore oil and gas blocks in Houston

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's oil minister on Wednesday said that he hoped an issue of gas supply disruption between the country's largest distributor GAIL (India) Ltd and a former unit of Russian energy major Gazprom would be resolved.

"My expectation is it will be resolved," minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at a press conference in New Delhi.

GAIL had agreed a 20-year deal with Gazprom Marketing and Singapore (GMTS) in 2012 for annual purchases of an average of 2.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

GMTS was a unit of Gazprom Germania, now called Sefe, but the parent gave up ownership after Western sanctions were imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The unit failed to deliver LNG cargoes to GAIL, affecting its gas sales which hurt the company's profit in the July-September quarter.

Reuters reported earlier this month that GAIL turned down a compensation offer by Sefe as it wanted to retain the right to the missed cargoes.

Sefe is offering compensation equivalent to 20% of the LNG cost, or 14% of Brent prices, in line with the original GMTS contract terms with GAIL, four sources had told Reuters.

Sefe did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma in New Delhi; writing by Shivam Patel and Louise Heavens; Editing by Bernadette Baum)