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Tellurian Says 20-Plus Companies Eyeing Investments in LNG, Gas Infrastructure

Nearly two-dozen companies are analyzing Tellurian Inc.’s natural gas prospects and partners could be identified soon, CEO Meg Gentle said Wednesday.

Gentle disclosed the news as part of the Houston-based company’s first quarter results. Tellurian is building a global gas business, both in the U.S. onshore and to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Gulf Coast.

Earlier this year Tellurian engaged Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and SG Americas Securities LLC (Societe Generale) to serve as financial advisers for Driftwood Holdings LLC, formed to own and operate the network of gas production, LNG trading and infrastructure, which includes the proposed 27.6 million metric tons/year Driftwood LNG export facility.

Tellurian wants to raise $24 billion for Driftwood Holdings. Equity interests in Driftwood Holdings were expected to be offered at a cost of $1,500/metric ton in exchange for LNG at cost.

“There are more than 20 companies conducting detailed analysis in our data room for Driftwood Holdings and we expect to be able to identify our partners soon,” Gentle said. “We intend to begin construction of the Driftwood LNG terminal in 2019 and produce first LNG in 2023.”

Driftwood LNG, to be sited on 1,000 acres in Calcasieu Parish, LA, would require up to 4 Bcf/d of feed gas. The project is designed for up to 20 trains, three storage tanks and three marine berths. The project could begin construction early next year if FERC issues a favorable environmental impact statement (EIS) and Tellurian executes a final investment decision (FID).

According to Tellurian’s estimated timeline, a draft EIS could be issued by mid-year, with a final EIS in October. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order and federal authorization may be issued in early 2019  [CP17-117; CP17-118]. If all goes according to plan, an FID could be issued by the middle of next year, followed by construction startup.

Tellurian, which was co-founded by Cheniere Energy Inc. co-founder Charif Souki and former BG Group plc executive Martin Houston, is making progress on related plans to provide feed gas for the project. During the first three months, nonbinding open seasons were launched to secure prospective shippers for two proposed pipelines: Haynesville Global Access Pipeline (HGAP) and Permian Global Access Pipeline (PGAP).

As designed, HGAP would be a 42-inch diameter pipeline that would connect up to 2 Bcf/d of Haynesville and Bossier shale volumes to customers in southwestern Louisiana. The open season for HGAP closed on April 6.

PGAP as proposed also would be a 42-inch diameter system able to transport up to 2 Bcf/d that would run 625 miles, originating at the Waha Hub in West Texas and terminating near Gillis. The open season is scheduled to be completed on May 25.

The pipelines are part of Tellurian’s proposed pipeline network, the development of which is expected to represent a roughly $7 billion investment in U.S. infrastructure and to create close to 15,000 jobs in Texas and Louisiana.

During 1Q2018, Tellurian generated about $6 million in revenue from LNG marketing and about $1 million from natural gas sales. It also received a $50 million investment from an affiliate of Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc. Bechtel Oil last November was awarded contracts worth $15.2 billion to begin the engineering, procurement and construction groundwork for Driftwood LNG.

In addition to Bechtel Oil, Tellurian in 2016 received a $25 million preferred equity investment from GE Oil & Gas and sold a 23% stake to France’s Total SA.

Tellurian reported a net loss in 1Q2018 of about $25.2 million (minus 12 cents/share). The company began trading on Nasdaq last year after it raised more than $100 million in a public offering, including underwriter allotments, and it completed a reverse merger with Magellan Petroleum Corp.

Tellurian ended March with about $112.5 million of cash and cash equivalents and said it remains debt free. The balance sheet consists of $280 million in assets, of which $91 million represents proved natural gas properties.

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