Tellurian Woos Indian Investors for Its Driftwood LNG Project

(Reuters) — Tellurian Inc. is continuing discussions with the Indian government and oil companies for investments in its Driftwood LNG project in Louisiana, its CEO told Reuters on Tuesday.

"I can't get into the details of the conversations, but if you think through it, India needs LNG at the lowest possible costs," CEO Octavio Simoes told Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Week conference in Bengaluru.

"The only way India and Indian companies can supply LNG at the lowest possible cost is if they invest equity in a project that allows them to lift the LNG at cost. We offer that, so obviously, it is very, very attractive to the Indian companies and the Indian government," Simoes said.

Construction of the Driftwood facility has been hit by delays, but Simoes said it is on track for its first gas output in 2026.

Houston, Texas-based Tellurian resumed talks with Indian oil and gas companies for investments in Driftwood LNG late last year. Earlier, a preliminary agreement with India's largest LNG buyer, Petronet LNG, lapsed without finalization at the end of May 2020, after the coronavirus pandemic hit energy demand.

Tellurian is also in talks with global oil majors to invest in the Driftwood LNG production and export facility, which will have the capacity to export up to 27.6 million tonnes of LNG per year after completion, Simoes said.

Repeated delays to the start of construction at Driftwood have frustrated some investors, and the cancellation of deals with two major potential customers last year raised concerns around Tellurian's ability to finish the project.

However, Simoes said the company has already invested about $1 billion at the site, after giving a limited license to proceed with construction to partner Bechtel Energy Inc last year.

"We have now invested about $1 billion on the site, which is fully under construction. No other competing project is under construction," Simoes said.

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