Tellurian Founder Takes Company Reins
Struggling US LNG developer Tellurian has named co-f0under Charif Souki as its executive chairman, the company said on June 23, taking the opportunity to comment on the global LNG outlook.
Souki has been a non-executive chairman since founding the company in February 2016. An executive chairman has direct operational responsibilities over a company, whereas an non-executive one usually has only board responsibilities.
"As the world recovers, there is an urgent need to make up for lost time," he said, as he announced he would provide additional support to Tellurian, a company he set it up with ex-BG LNG boss Martin Houston soon after his own ejection from Cheniere, a company he originally set up to import LNG into the US before the shale gas revolution.
"I am 100% committed to Tellurian's success and will be working alongside our president and CEO Meg Gentle, COO Keith Teague, and the most experienced LNG team in the industry to get our first-class project, Driftwood LNG, constructed," he said.
Driftwood LNG, near Lake Charles in Louisiana, aims to produce up to 27.6mn mt/yr of LNG. Tellurian has secured all necessary permits to begin construction, but a final investment decision has not yet been taken. The project suffered a setback in May when a preliminary deal for India's Petronet to take its gas expired without the pair finalising a supply contract. Tellurian laid off 70% of its workforce in March and swung to a net loss of $40.7mn in the first quarter.
"Demand for LNG grew 13% last year and continues to grow at a pace that will outstrip capacity growth unless we act now and get facilities built," CEO Gentle said. "While Covid-19 has slowed the market this year, the market is rebalancing quickly and the underlying fundamentals that support long-term investment in LNG are strengthening. We are fortunate to have the benefit of our founders' marketing expertise and relationships as we commercialise and finance Driftwood LNG."