State-run utility GAIL India is to target further stakes in the US shale gas market.

The company is due to open an office in Houston on November 1 and last month agreed to buy a 20% stake in the US shale assets of Carrizo Oil & Gas in a five year, $300 million deal.

Now it is looking for further investment opportunities. Chairman BC Tripathi said: “We can’t fix a timeline but we hope something will come out in six months.”

The company is hoping for more than just a return on its investment: with the Indian government set to unveil its policy on shale gas exploration next year, it is looking to gain as much shale gas expertise as possible from the US market.

GAIL owns India’s biggest gas pipeline, with a network of around 8,700 km, which it expects to extend to 10,000 km next year.