In the crowded U.S. LNG space, Tellurian Inc says it will likely make a final investment decision on its $30-billion Louisiana Driftwood export project during the first half of this year, alluding to a handful of customers for its planned first phase.
If the FID comes through as planned, the first LNG could come out of this project by 2023, with full completion by 2026, Reuters cited Tellurian CEO Meg Gentle as saying on the sidelines of the BloombergNEF summit in New York.
The announcement follows Tellurian’s reported losses of nearly $126 million for 2018, on $10.8 million in revenue; nonetheless, that’s better than 2017 losses, which were nearly double.
Tellurian’s Driftwood project, which would produce 27.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG when completed, is unique in that while is one of at least 12 such projects in the pipeline in the United States, it is going for something fully integrated. In other words, it’s planning to both build and own the export terminal, as well as produce its own gas, host its own pipelines, and sell its own LNG globally.
More than anything, Tellurian is eyeing the Chinese market.
Gentle alluded to “positive” signs of forward movement between the United States and China over the past couple of months, and noted that China will be the largest LNG export market for the U.S.
“They’re still growing at roughly 30 percent a year,” Gentle told Bloomberg in a video interview.
“We are now developing stranded gas that doesn’t have a market and is stuck behind pipe in the U.S. And China is a huge market, so a conclusion to the trade deal will help that gas flow,” the Tellurian CEO added.
“Gas is going to go to China even if it ends up being on a short-term basis. So, it’s only a matter of whether there’s investment or long-term contracting […]. Otherwise, we’ll just leave it to the short-term market to sort it out.”
In the meantime, there are rumors that Driftwood has been courting Qatar and Saudi Arabia. While Gentle did not confirm those rumors explicitly, she did hint at Middle East partners as well as Asian.
“We are looking for partners, and actually I would say we are to the stage now that we are concluding documents with our partners.”