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LNG Veterans Souki, Houston Form Gulf Coast Terminals Venture

Cheniere Energy Inc. co-founder Charif Souki and BG Group plc liquefied natural gas (LNG) veteran Martin Houston Tuesday announced the formation of Tellurian Investments, which will offer "mid-scale" LNG export projects along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Souki was recently ousted from the CEO seat at Cheniere, a company he helped to form (see Daily GPIDec. 14, 2015) and only days ago resigned from the Cheniere board of directors (see Daily GPIFeb. 19a). Cheniere is on the cusp of being the first company to export LNG from the Lower 48 states -- from its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana (see Daily GPIFeb. 19b).

Sixteen months ago, Houston formed Parallax Energy to develop mid-scale LNG assets (see Daily GPIOct. 24, 2014). The company's first project was announced in early 2015 (see Daily GPIFeb. 3, 2015), and the acquisition of another was announced last spring (see Daily GPIApril 28, 2015). Before this, Houston helped to build the BG Group LNG business. BG Group was recently acquired by Royal Dutch Shell plc (see Daily GPIJan. 28April 8, 2015).

"What differentiates us from every other LNG developer is our combination of talent," Souki said. "I see what can be done and Martin knows exactly how to get it done. He has developed liquefaction facilities in Trinidad, Egypt, Australia and built the world's first portfolio LNG trading company. The combination of Martin and I together is as seasoned an LNG team as you can dream up."

Houston had equally kind words for Souki. "I cannot think of a better partner than Charif, who single-handedly transformed the global LNG landscape with his ambitious and bold leadership of Cheniere Energy, which will be noted in LNG history as a key turning point in its evolution."

The plan for Tellurian is to deliver low-cost LNG by capitalizing on low-cost gas available in the United States and liquefying it at facilities along the Gulf Coast. Tellurian plans to partner with Bechtel to construct its plants and has selected Chart Industries for liquefaction technology, building on long-term relationships developed by both Souki and Houston.

"...[W]e are thinking about the energy needs of the world from 2020 to 2040," the partners said. "We are absolutely in this for the long haul. Natural gas is a tremendously important commodity for the world’s future, and we will be successful because we fully understand the opportunity and have the experience to do something about it."

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