Tellurian cuts workforce by 40%, contemplates Driftwood delay

Tellurian CEO Meg Gentle (Courtesy Tellurian Inc.)

Tellurian Inc. has cut roughly 40% of its workforce in a restructuring effort designed to cut  costs and focus on the company’s planned $29 billion export project in Lake Charles.

Bloomberg reports the Houston-based company founded by shale gas pioneer Charif Souki laid off as many as 70 workers, according to people familiar with the situation. The company may also put off a final decision on whether to build the Driftwood liquefied natural gas export terminal in Louisiana by 12 to 18 months, Bloomberg reports, citing an individual who asked to not be identified because the information isn’t yet public.

Tellurian announced a series of senior management changes Monday, including the appointment of Kian Granmayeh, formerly director of investor relations, as chief financial officer, replacing Antoine Lafargue. Senior vice president of LNG marketing Amos Hochstein has been promoted to executive vice president of LNG marketing.

Tellurian executives Keith Teague, Daniel Belhumeur, Tarek Souki and John Howie also were promoted to other executive president roles. All of the new appointments come with base salaries and incentives tied to the company’s financial performance.

“We are reducing our costs and reorganizing the company to make Tellurian resilient in the face of current challenges in financial and energy markets,” Chief Executive Officer Meg Gentle said in the statement announcing the reshuffle in senior management.

Tellurian has been hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus, which is having a detrimental  impact on commodities markets. The company also failed to finalize a deal with India’s Petronet for the Driftwood project last month.

Shares have plunged more than 80% over the past two weeks, and the company is in talks with a lender to renegotiate terms. Prices fell 30% on Monday to 85 cents as of 10:09 a.m.

Bloomberg has the full story.