Driftwood LNG developer pays down $57M in debt


A company hoping to begin construction on a $16.8 billion LNG export project in Louisiana this summer has paid down $57 million of its debt to creditors.

Tellurian hopes to build Driftwood LNG, an LNG production and export terminal on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles. Co-founder and Executive Chairman Charif Souki said in January the company is eyeing a summertime construction start.

In the meantime, the company announced it has made a voluntary principal prepayment of $43 million on its 2018 Term Loan. The debt prepayment was funded using cash on hand and from its upstream subsidiary, Tellurian Production Holdings LLC, resulting in interest savings of approximately $2.4 million in 2021. Tellurian Inc. has also made $13.6 million in other debt repayments year to date to other creditors, for a total debt reduction of $57 million.

That leaves Tellurian with approximately $80 million in unrestricted cash and $25 million in borrowings that mature in 2021, of which $17 million will be paid from Tellurian production.

President and CEO ­­Octávio Simões said in a statement that Tellurian is “delivering on our debt reduction plan and strengthening our balance sheet, with comfortable liquidity for operations and a market capitalization value of over $1 billion.” He said the company is  producing natural gas from its Haynesville position as it watches the global natural gas market restructure with LNG supply tightening and prices rising.

“As an LNG supplier,” Simões said, “we are well positioned with our integrated Driftwood partnership to control supply cost, effectively manage emissions through our own production, and produce LNG at a very low and stable cost that is globally competitive.”

Read the full statement.