Williams Finds Tellurian Bid Unattractive, Cites Commercial Concerns, Executive Says

(Reuters) — Pipeline operator Williams Companies looked at acquiring struggling LNG developer Tellurian, but considered its export project not that attractive, the company's strategy chief said on Tuesday.

Tellurian said this week it would consider offers for its proposed Driftwood LNG gas export terminal after unsuccessfully pursuing long-term sales and purchase agreements to finance the Louisiana project. It also put its natural gas production unit on the block last year as losses mounted.

RELATED: Williams Plans Expansion of Gas Pipeline Network in Virginia

Williams Executive Vice President of Strategy Chad Zamarin said Williams was looking at opportunities to continue investing in LNG projects but Tellurian's 27 million metric tons per annum Driftwood project did not have the commercial strength.

"There is the advantage of it being permitted, it does have a speed to market that is interesting to us, but it does not have the commercial contracts on the demand side," said Zamarin in an interview on the sidelines of CERAWeek by S&P Global energy conference.

RELATED: Tellurian Explores Sale Options, CEO Steps Down Amid Driftwood LNG Project Efforts

Williams is interested in LNG projects that are already advanced, Zamarin said, where new-build projects like Driftwood are at a disadvantage to expansions of existing plants.

Tellurian earlier this year hired investment banker Lazard to explore a sale of its Haynesville gas production business in East Texas and Louisiana as part of efforts to raise new capital to continue the Driftwood project.

Lazard also is focused on alternative debt and equity financing, the sale of equity interests in Driftwood or Tellurian, a potential sale of the company, and assisting in securing commercial partners, Tellurian said on Monday.

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