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Tellurian Says Natural Gas Pipeline, LNG Export Plan Draws 25 Potential Investors

Houston-based Tellurian Inc., whose go big or go home strategy is designed to move more U.S. onshore natural gas from the Permian Basin and Haynesville Shale to overseas markets, said about 25 customers/partners have expressed interest in becoming part of the planned Louisiana export facility.

The company, which issued its second quarter results on Wednesday, is working on an ambitious plan that centers around exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the proposed Driftwood LNG facility in Calcasieu Parish, LA.

Supply for Driftwood is tied to two proposed pipelines by Tellurian that together would carry up to 4 Bcf/d: Haynesville Global Access Pipeline (HGAP) and Permian Global Access Pipeline (PGAP).

“All the pieces of the integrated project are coming together as planned, and we remain on schedule to announce our partners in the third or fourth quarter, begin construction of Driftwood LNG in first half 2019, and deliver LNG to the global market in 2023,” CEO Meg Gentle said.

Tellurian, which wants to bring aboard partners to help finance the network via Driftwood Holdings, said about “25 customer/partners” are conducting due diligence.

As designed, Driftwood LNG would have up to 20 trains, three storage tanks and three marine berths. Tellurian already has in hand a coastal use permit from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, as well as air permits from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

A final environmental impact statement for Driftwood LNG is expected by mid-October, with early January eyed for a decision to proceed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A final investment decision could be made before mid-year, and if it’s a go, the facility could start up in 2023.

Also during the second quarter, open seasons were completed for both HGAP and PGAP, with nonbinding support secured for more than the pipelines’ planned capacity, management said.

As designed, HGAP would be a 42-inch diameter pipeline connecting up to 2 Bcf/d of Haynesville and Bossier gas volumes to customers in southwestern Louisiana. PGAP also would be a 42-inch diameter system able to transport up to 2 Bcf/d, originating at the Waha hub in West Texas and running 625 miles to terminate near Gillis, LA.

The company’s net losses totaled $35.9 million (minus 17 cents/share) in 2Q2018, versus a sequential loss of $25.2 million (minus 12 cents). Tellurian in the quarter also generated about $115.2 million from a public stock offering.

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 June with about $197 million in cash and cash equivalents and no debt. It holds an estimated $373.5 million in assets, including $90.3 million representing the proved gas properties.

Tellurian already has investors with deep pockets. In 2016, it received a $25 million preferred equity investment from GE Oil & Gas, and France’s Total SA holds a 23% stake. An affiliate of Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc. also is an investor. Bechtel Oil last November was awarded contracts worth $15.2 billion to begin the engineering, procurement and construction groundwork for the LNG export facility.

During the recent World Gas Conference in Washington, DC, Vice Chairman Martin Houston described the company’s unique model. Houston also made the case that it is “the moment” for the United States to take advantage of its vast gas stores.

“Infrastructure needs to get built...but it will get built,” he told the audience. “What matters going forward for me is cost...We talk a lot about it,” but everyone should consider what that actually means. Cost “should be the only thing that matters...New LNG must be low cost at all costs.”

He admitted that Tellurian’s business model may be confusing as it’s not like other LNG export/import models.

“In very simple terms, what it does is buy the efficiency of buying resources today, which are relatively cheap, and in a number of years they will not be. And by building our pipeline network north, south, west and east, accessing a large number of geographically dispersed basins, we’re able to compress the hub price…”

For example, at a gas price of around $3.00/Mcf, if Tellurian were able to access the hydrocarbons at lower than the Henry Hub price, “once that’s locked in to our infrastructure and to our reservoirs of natural gas, we can maintain that and therefore take another $1.50 outside the traditional chain.”

 

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