Tellurian CEO Octavio Simoes' Term Not Extended, Company Eyes Asset Sale

(Reuters) — LNG developer Tellurian said on Monday it would not renew or extend the employment term of CEO Octavio Simoes beyond June 5, and aims to sell its upstream business, sending its shares up as much as 3% before the bell.

The company late last year ousted its chairman and co-founder, Charif Souki, amid its efforts to keep its Driftwood LNG project alive.

Simoes joined Tellurian in 2019 as a senior adviser to then- CEO Meg Gentle and later succeeded Gentle.

Tellurian has not been able to attract commercial support for the Driftwood project and is yet to give the financial green light to the project.

Driftwood in the state of Louisiana is one of dozens of U.S. LNG export projects that have been under development for years while other plants found customers and were built.

In October, Tellurian asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for an extra 36 months beyond the originally authorized in-service date to complete construction of the LNG plant and an associated natural gas pipeline.

The extra 36-months would give Tellurian until 2029 to finish the project.

Over the years, the company has lost potential customers for Driftwood and in August last year revealed that trader Gunvor Singapore also terminated its contract to take cargoes.

In a letter to shareholders, Tellurian also said that its Haynesville and Bossier assets have seen "keen interest from quality buyers."

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