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New Souki-Houston Venture Files For First Louisiana LNG Terminal

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) veterans Martin Houston and Charif Souki have applied at FERC to begin the pre-filing review of the first Gulf Coast terminal project of a venture they founded earlier this year.

Driftwood LNG LLC (DWLNG) proposes an export terminal on the west bank of the Calcasieu River south of Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish, LA. Affiliate Driftwood Pipeline LLC is planning an associated pipeline.

The companies are units of Houston-based Tellurian LNG LLC, which was founded earlier this year by Houston, a former BG Group executive; and Souki, the cofounder and former CEO of Cheniere Energy Inc. (see Daily GPIFeb. 25).

The Driftwood terminal would be able to export up to 26 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG, requiring up to 4 Bcf/d of feed gas. The liquefaction facility would consist of five LNG plants with each plant composed of one gas pre-treatment unit and four liquefaction units. A new 96-mile pipeline would deliver feed gas to the facility from the interstate pipeline grid, the companies said in their filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [PF16-6].

DWLNG expects to file its formal Natural Gas Act application in March and ask FERC for the necessary authorizations by March 2018. With regulatory approvals, project construction could begin during the second quarter of 2018 with terminal operations expected to fully begin in 2025, DWLNG said. Free trade agreement (FTA) and non-FTA export authorizations are to be sought from the U.S. Department of Energy.

A portion of the proposed site is undeveloped while the remainder has been used for industrial purposes. The facility site would cover about 800 acres. DWLNG will own or lease all of the land required and will own, lease or acquire the necessary rights of way for the pipeline. DWLNG said in the filing that it has purchased about 140 acres and has leased an additional 475 acres of the facility site with the right to enter into a long-term lease for up to a total of 50 years.

The open-access pipeline would consist of two compressor stations, 12 meter stations, and three pipeline segments, consisting of about 62 miles of dual 42-inch diameter pipeline; about 24 miles of a single 42-inch diameter pipeline; and about 10 miles of a single 36-inch diameter pipeline. An open season for capacity would be held. Route evaluation is under way.

Souki and Houston announced their venture earlier this year at the same time that Cheniere sent out its first commissioning cargo from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana. Souki had previously been ousted from Cheniere by activist investor Carl Icahn (see Daily GPIDec. 14, 2015). The Driftwood FERC filing was made during the same week that Souki's permanent replacement was announced by Cheniere (see Daily GPIMay 12).

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