Tellurian says on track to produce LNG in 2027, still looking for customers

(Reuters) - U.S. energy company Tellurian Inc said it remains on target to produce the first LNG at its Driftwood export plant in Louisiana in 2027.

Tellurian, however, is still looking for customers to buy LNG from the plant and has not yet made a final investment decision (FID) to start major construction on the roughly $14.5 billion first 11 million-tonnes-per-annum (MTPA) phase of the project.

"We are having a number of discussions with counterparties for both equity partnership and LNG offtake for the Driftwood project and investment in the Driftwood Line 200/300 pipeline," Tellurian CEO Octavio Simoes said in an earnings release.

He also said the company has "invested over one billion dollars to develop and advance construction of the fully permitted Driftwood project and remain on target to produce first LNG in 2027."

The plant has been under early stages of construction since March 2022 when Tellurian gave engineering firm Bechtel a limited notice to proceed with construction.

Tellurian shares were up over 4% to around 74 cents in afternoon trade on Thursday.

Driftwood is one of dozens of U.S. LNG export projects that have been under development for years while other plants found customers and were built, putting the United States on track to become the world's biggest LNG exporter this year.

In early October, Tellurian's Driftwood LNG asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for an extra 36 months beyond the originally authorized in-service date to complete construction of the LNG plant and an associated natural gas pipeline.

In April 2019, FERC approved the construction of the 27.5-MTPA Driftwood and gave Tellurian seven years, or until 2026, to complete the project. The extra 36 months would give Tellurian until 2029 to finish the project.

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