Energy Transfer and Shell announced that they had signed a project framework agreement to advance the proposed Lake Charles LNG export terminal and that they plan to issue an invitation to tender for engineering, procurement and contracting companies to start bidding on the project, in a joint statement released on Tuesday morning.
“We are pleased to be moving forward with Shell in progressing this major LNG export project," Lake Charles LNG President Tom Mason, President said in a statement. "We believe the combination of our assets and Shell's LNG experience will create a platform for exporting natural gas from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the global marketplace that is unmatched."
Shell entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Energy Transfer in 2016 to develop a liquefaction plant that can produce up to 16.45 million metric tons of LNG per year. Under the terms of their joint venture, Energy Transfer will own and finance the proposed liquefaction facility while Shell will oversee engineering, design and construction work as well as operate the terminal once it is complete.
"Lake Charles presents a material, competitive liquefaction project with the potential to provide Shell with an operated LNG export position on the U.S. Gulf Coast by the time global supply is expected to tighten in the mid-2020's," Shell Vice President Frederic Phipps said in a statement.
If built, the export terminal project is estimated to create up to 5,000 local jobs during construction and 200 full-time positions when fully operational. Shortly after the shale revolution in 2015 that created a surplus of natural gas in the United States, Energy Transfer got permission from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build an export terminal at the site in 2015. The facility site was originally developed as an LNG import terminal in 2006.