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Reliance plans to sell gas in US market - report

business Updated: Apr 30, 2010 10:00 IST
Prashant Mehra
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Reliance Industries Ltd plans to sell gas to retail consumers in the United States, the Economic Times reported on Friday, giving the Indian energy major a foothold in the world's biggest market.

Reliance, which had formed a joint venture this month with Atlas Energy at a promising natural gas deposit, aims to use the US firm's pipeline to supply gas, the newspaper said. The company, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, will initially supply gas to consumers in New York and Virginia, and use the Atlas partnership to build a brand, it said.

A Reliance spokesman declined comment on the report.

Reliance has picked up a 40 percent stake in Atlas's operations in the booming Marcellus Shale -- a gas project that spans parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York in the United States and which, according to some geologists, could hold enough natural gas to satisfy US demand for a decade.

The gas retail market in the United States is dominated by global majors such as Exxon Mobil and BP who have spent decades building a network and pipelines, the paper said.

The largest listed Indian company owns the world's single biggest refining complex in Gujarat state and exports a bulk of its petroleum products to the United States. It began pumping natural gas from a large field off India's east coast last year.

Reliance is looking at increasing revenues from its offshore assets in coming years and aims to invest heavily in these markets, the paper quoted an unnamed Reliance official as saying.