Oil and Gas

Tellurian to decide on Louisiana Driftwood LNG project in 2019

May 8 (Reuters) - Tellurian Inc confirmed on Wednesday it still plans to make a final investment decision to build its proposed $30 billion Driftwood liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Louisiana in 2019:

* The company, in a first-quarter earnings statement, said it was on track to make a final investment decision in 2019, start construction in 2019 and begin operations in 2023.

* Driftwood is designed to produce 27.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG or about 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas. One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

* The company has said the first phase will likely comprise 16.6 MTPA.

* Driftwood is one of more than a dozen U.S. and Canadian LNG export terminals under development that expect to make a final investment decision in 2019. Together the projects would produce over 150 MTPA of LNG.

* Analysts have said only a handful of the plants will likely be built over the next five years or so.

* Current U.S. LNG export capacity is around 39 MTPA, and new terminals being built would produce an additional 51 MTPA.

* Tellurian has said the United States needs about 100 MTPA of new export projects to meet growing worldwide use of the fuel.

* Unlike most proposed U.S. LNG export projects that will liquefy gas for a fee, Tellurian is offering customers the opportunity to meet their gas needs by investing in a full range of services from production to pipelines and liquefaction.

* Current partners include units of Total SA, Vitol, Petronet LNG Ltd, General Electric Co and Bechtel, which has a $15.2 billion contract to build the liquefaction facility. Pipelines, reserves and other expenses make up the rest of the project’s cost.

* Tellurian is also developing three pipelines in Louisiana - the 4.0-bcfd Driftwood pipe, the 2.0-bcfd Haynesville Global Access and the 2.0-bcfd Delhi Connector - and the 2.0-bcfd Permian Global Access in Texas and Louisiana.

* If Tellurian decides to build the pipes, the company has said it is targeting 2023 in service dates. Most of the pipes are designed to transport gas stranded in shale basins to the Gulf Coast.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Bernadette Baum