A deal with French supermajor TotalEnergies SE that would have injected up to $700 million into Tellurian Inc.’s planned Driftwood liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana has fallen through after the project developer failed to meet a key deadline for sanctioning the project.


In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Tellurian said Monday its agreements with TotalEnergies had been canceled because they were “not consistent” with the commercial agreements that Driftwood had signed with other parties. 

The agreements signed in 2019 called for TotalEnergies to invest up to $700 million and take up to 2.5 million metric tons per year (mmty) from the 27.6 mmty facility. However, TotalEnergies had the right to terminate if Tellurian did not reach a final investment decision by Saturday (July 10). The agreements had built on TotalEnergies’ original $207 million investment with Tellurian in 2016.

The latest news marked another setback for Houston-based Tellurian. The company cut back on staff last year amid a weak LNG market made worse by the pandemic. It also saw a key deal with India’s Petronet fall through, and it dropped at least two big pipelines from its Driftwood scheme. 

Tellurian has since retooled its marketing model. It is now offering 10-year contracts indexed to the Asian Japan-Korea Marker and European Title Transfer Facility benchmarks. With the LNG market strengthening, the company in recent months has signed deals with traders Vitol Inc. and Gunvor Group Ltd. 

The company had previously targeted 2021 for an FID on Driftwood. CEO Octávio Simões told NGI in April that Tellurian expected to move forward as early as the end of this year.

Tellurian plans to supply the Driftwood facility with Haynesville Shale natural gas. It also has been on the hunt for acreage in the region to source supply.

The company recently unveiled plans to build a 37-mile pipeline to transport gas to the Lake Charles, LA, area and its facility. Tellurian has requested Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval by the end of 2022. Service could begin in 2024.