Tellurian’s Souki Seeks New Asia Gas Deals After Petronet Rebuff
(Bloomberg) -- Tellurian Inc. is in talks with unidentified Asian companies to sell almost half the liquefied natural gas output from its proposed Louisiana export terminal, Chairman Charif Souki said in an interview.
Just hours after Indian gas distributor Petronet LNG Ltd.’s chief executive officer signaled a plan to invest in Tellurian’s Driftwood LNG project is dead, Souki told Bloomberg News he’s got other investors interested in buying 12 million metric tons of the terminal’s production annually.
Those deals will be finalized during the first half of 2021, with construction at Driftwood expected to begin during the Northern Hemisphere summer, Souki said on Thursday. He also said Tellurian no longer will employ memorandums of understanding as preludes to more in-depth deal talks. The parley between his company and Petronet was governed by an MOU scheduled to expire next month.
“We view an MOU as a moral commitment, but we’re no longer looking for moral commitments,” Souki said. “We’re looking for real commitments, so we will no longer agree to do MOUs.”
The tete-a-tete between Tellurian and Petronet was closely watched by the global LNG industry as an indicator of whether proposed U.S. LNG projects would attract sufficient financial commitments to begin construction.
Total SE remains Tellurian’s only customer. The French oil giant has committed to invest $500 million and buy 2.5 million tons annually.
Tellurian shares plunged 28% on Thursday in New York after Petronet’s acting CEO Vinod Kumar Mishra said there was no proposal for the company to invest in Tellurian’s project.
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