Aramco, Woodside Energy in talks to invest in Tellurian’s Driftwood LNG project

Ruth Liao and Stephen Stapczynski, Bloomberg June 05, 2024

(Bloomberg) – Tellurian Inc. is in discussions with Saudi Aramco and Woodside Energy Group Ltd. over the two companies investing in its liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Louisiana, according to people familiar with the matter.

Driftwood LNG

The U.S. LNG developer has reviewed various equity investment offerings from the energy companies related to its proposed Driftwood plant, said the people, who asked not to be named as they’re not authorized to speak to the media. They said the potential deal may include MidOcean Energy LLC, a subsidiary of investment firm EIG Global Energy Partners, in which Aramco holds a stake.

Tellurian shares initially spiked as much as 30% on the news before paring some of the gains. The stock was up 11% to 54 cents as of 11:03 a.m. in New York. Year to date, the penny stock is down about 28%.

Tellurian, Aramco, Woodside and MidOcean declined to comment.

Last week, Tellurian reached a deal to sell some shale assets to Aethon Energy Management LLC in a bid to push forward with the long-delayed Driftwood plan. Co-founded by U.S. LNG export pioneer Charif Souki, who has since been ousted from the company, Tellurian had previous supply agreements with companies including Shell Plc, Gunvor Group and Vitol SA, but they were terminated due to the project’s slower progress.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., as Aramco is formally known, is looking to expand in natural gas. The government sold about $12 billion of shares on Sunday, with some of the proceeds earmarked to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil. Woodside, Australia’s largest oil and gas producer, has also been in talks to invest in other U.S. LNG export projects, including Energy Transfer LP’s plant in Louisiana.  

It’s unclear how Aramco and Woodside would split equity and offtake from the proposed 27 million ton per year Driftwood facility. The plant is fully permitted and isn’t affected by President Joe Biden’s pause on approvals for new LNG export projects.

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