Tellurian Hires Lazard to Explore Sale of US Natural Gas Developer

(Bloomberg) -- Tellurian Inc., which is seeking to export US natural gas, said it has hired Lazard Inc. to explore “commercial opportunities.” Options under consideration include a potential sale of the company, according to people familiar with the situation.

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Tellurian, which has struggled to bring its proposed Louisiana gas-export facility to fruition since its 2016 founding, may attract heightened interest because it already has necessary government approvals for its Driftwood LNG project. The shares surged as much as 20% in after-hours trading Thursday.

On Friday, the Biden administration intends to announce a plan to halt reviews of gas export applications as it considers their impact on climate change.

Read More: Biden Set to Halt Review of LNG Export Approvals on Friday

Tellurian would be open to selling the Driftwood project or its portfolio of gas wells, three people familiar with the issue said. “I can confirm Lazard had been hired to evaluate the commercial opportunities that are coming in,” Joi Lecznar, a Tellurian executive vice president, wrote in an email.

Lazard didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

In December, Tellurian jettisoned its charismatic co-founder Charif Souki. Remaining co-founder and now-Chairman Martin Houston has vowed to slash costs.

Driftwood LNG would have a capacity to produce 27.6 million metric tons of liquefied gas annually. In 2017, it received its non-free trade agreement export license, which allows it to sell LNG to key importers in places such as China and Japan.

(Updates with share-price reaction in second paragraph.)

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