GAIL (India) Ltd was incorporated in August 1984 as a central public sector undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG). The company was initially given the responsibility of construction, operation and maintenance of the Hazira-Vijaypur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipeline project.

It was one of the largest cross-country natural gas pipeline projects in the world. Originally this 1,800 Km long pipeline was built at a cost of Rs 1,700 crores (US$ 268.72 million) and it laid the foundation for development of market for natural gas in India.

GAIL is a pioneer in city gas distribution (CGD) business in India, with Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) in Delhi and Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) in Mumbai being its biggest success stories. Besides IGL and MGL, GAIL has set up several joint ventures (HV) for CGD to supply gas to households, transport sector and commercial consumers in various cities including Hyderabad, Agartala, Kanpur, Indore, Vadodara, Lucknow, Agra and Pune.

In 2008, GAIL incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary, GAIL Gas Ltd (GGL) to exclusively focus on city gas distribution business. GGL has been authorized for implementation of CGD projects in four cities namely Kota, Dewas, Sonepat and Meerut in the first round of bidding by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).