Amy Chen Davis has combined her passion for deal making, relationship building and world traveling into a career in liquefied natural gas (LNG) marketing. Her most notable accomplishment has been her involvement in Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s historic $20 billion LNG export terminal in Mozambique, which reached a final investment decision earlier this year.
Davis negotiated three long-term sale and purchase agreements (SPAs), contributing billions in revenue for the development of the project.
“Selling the dream of an Africa greenfield project in a perennial bear market was a multi-year effort,” she says. “In that process, I built strong relationships in the industry. I know exactly what my competitors are offering. I am one of the first phone calls buyers place when they need something. Internally, I pushed the envelope and fought for structures that gave buyers reasons to sign deals with Mozambique LNG.”
An ‘overnight’ success: Indeed, Mozambique LNG appeared to be an impossible mission. At the time, LNG project development was limited to a handful of large international corporations. The industry collectively thought Anadarko was out of its depth.
“Mozambique LNG had an issues list longer than a CVS receipt,” Davis says. “The marketing effort was two steps forward, one step back, as the LNG market went from bad to ugly. When the negotiation was going sideways, I investigated what was happening behind the scenes in the buyer’s company to look for an angle to push for progress.”
Given the uncertainties in energy policies and corporate agendas in Asian utility companies, she knew the project needed European utilities to stabilize its timeline. She pushed for an alternative structure, which would give the project the option to enhance its return later. The Mozambique project signed its first SPA with Électricité de France in 2018.
“The following winter was exceptionally cold,” Davis says. “Buyers swarmed in to sign long-term SPAs after being dormant and content for years. The project had established enough credibility and was de-risked enough for a final push.”
The relationships Davis spent years nourishing were finally paying off. Anadarko was able to negotiate the six remaining SPAs, and the project reached its final investment decision.
“People wanted to know what the secret sauce for Mozambique LNG’s ‘overnight’ success was. The secret was that it wasn’t overnight. Fortune favors the prepared.”
A rising star: Davis began her career in BP’s Challenger Program and rotated through various roles in the trading and marketing organization. Later, she joined Constellation as an associate in the gas structuring department while working on her MBA at the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, she went into LNG marketing, working for the second largest LNG producer, RasGas in Qatar.
She recently joined Energy Transfer Partners as a senior director, heading the marketing effort of Lake Charles LNG.
“I see in Energy Transfer and Lakes Charles LNG what I saw in Anadarko and Mozambique LNG,” Davis says. “Entrepreneurial spirit is core to Energy Transfer's company culture. Lake Charles LNG has the unique advantage of sponsor credibility, cost competitiveness and pipeline connectivity. Sitting at the low point of the commodity price, it is challenging to convince producers and buyers to make long-term commitments. U.S. gas producers need to gain access to export terminals; most of them just haven’t realized that yet.”
Balancing act: Family time, deep honest discussions and boot camp classes help Davis balance the demands at work and in life. She and her husband have two children, 3-year-old Skylar and 1-year-old Preston. “I am fortunate to live in a time when women can have it all,” Davis says. “‘Having it all’ doesn’t mean being Sheryl Sandberg and Mary Poppins rolled into one. I try to accept my weaknesses and limitations, and I surround myself with people who tolerate my shortcomings.”