U.S. LNG developer Tellurian Inc. wants to grow gas production by adding to its own output and through mergers and acquisitions, the company's executive chairman Charif Souki said this week.
He said this was “a once in a life-time opportunity” for producers to merge or be acquired because they can realize much better revenue by being exposed to international gas prices through the Driftwood LNG export plant Tellurian is developing in Louisiana.
U.S. gas prices at the Henry Hub were up over 50% this year to around $3.75 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) after falling to a 25-year average low of $2.03 in 2020.
But around the world, gas prices in Europe and Asia were trading over $12/MMBtu.
Analysts said buyers around the world will keep purchasing all the LNG the United States can produce with global prices expected to remain high for months.
“We will grow in two different ways. The first is organically ... The second way to do this is to make some acquisitions,” Souki said.
Tellurian has said it plans to start preparing the Driftwood site for construction later this summer and give notice to engineering firm Bechtel, its lead contractor, to commence with the first phase of the 27.5-million tonnes per annum (MTPA) project in first-quarter 2022.
Driftwood is one of more than a dozen North American LNG projects that have repeatedly pushed back decisions to start construction due primarily to a lack of customers signing long-term deals needed to finance the multi-billion dollar facilities.
Over the past five weeks, however, Tellurian signed two 10-year agreements to sell 3 MTPA of LNG with commodity traders Vitol and Gunvor Group.
The signing of those deals helped push Tellurian stock up over 230% so far this year.
Before oil prices collapsed in the wake of failed OPEC talks earlier this month, Wood Mackenzie had forecast that some $3 billion would be invested in exploration in Brazil.
Equinor, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Petrogal Brasil said on June 1 they would proceed with an $8 billion development of Brazil's Bacalhau oil discovery located in the presalt Santos area.
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