The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted authorization to Tellurian for the construction and operation of Driftwood LNG, a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, and its associated pipeline project on the US Gulf Coast.


Image: Illustration of Driftwood LNG project. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.

The Driftwood LNG project, which is expected to have LNG export capacity of nearly 27.6 million tons per annum (mtpa), is planned to be built near Lake Charles in Louisiana. It is estimated to cost $13bn-$16bn.

Earlier this year, the FERC has issued the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Driftwood LNG project.

The final EIS follows a draft EIS issued by the US energy regulator in September 2018.

Tellurian president and CEO Meg Gentle earlier said: “Tellurian thanks the FERC for a thorough review and for remaining on schedule. We look forward to receiving the agency’s order granting authorization to site, construct and operate our Driftwood project.

“Tellurian will then stand ready to make a final investment decision and begin construction in the first half of 2019, with the first LNG expected in 2023.”

The LNG export facility will comprise five LNG plants, three 235,000m³ full containment LNG storage tanks, three marine loading berths designed to enable LNG ships up to 216,000m³ and refrigeration compressors powered by GE aero derivative natural gas turbines.

The Driftwood pipeline project will comprise 154.4km of mainline pipeline, 5.4km of lateral pipeline, 15 new meter stations and three new compressor stations to transport up to 3.9bn ft³ (Bcf) of natural gas per day to feed the LNG facilities.

FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee said: “LNG exports can help increase the availability of inexpensive, clean-burning fuel to our global allies who are looking for an efficient, affordable, environmentally friendly source of generation.

“FERC continues to focus on developing a regulatory ecosystem that allows new technologies to flourish.”

Tellurian expects the Driftwood LNG project to generate nearly 6,400 jobs during construction followed by around 400 permanent jobs upon its full operations.

In December 2018, Tellurian’s subsidiary Tellurian Trading UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Vitol to supply 1.5 mtpa of LNG stored at the Driftwood LNG export terminal for a minimum term of 15 years.