Tellurian Leaps on $12B Deal to Supply LNG to Energy Trader Vitol

Tellurian shares leaped after the liquefied-natural-gas developer signed a 10-year agreement to supply energy trading firm Vitol.
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Shares of Tellurian  (TELL) - Get Report surged Thursday after the developer of liquefied natural gas finalized a 10-year deal to provide energy trader Vitol with LNG from its proposed liquefaction facility terminal in Louisiana.

Shares of the Houston company at last check rose 23% to $5.34.

This is Tellurian's second sales and purchase agreement with a major trading firm for the Driftwood LNG plant. Last week the company signed a deal for similar deliveries to Gunvor Singapore Pte Ltd.

At the same time Reuters reported that Tellurian had delayed the Louisiana plant's commercial operation to first-quarter 2022. 

The two recent agreements represent $24 billion in estimated revenue, Tarek Souki, executive vice president for LNG marketing and trading, said.

"Tellurian continues to execute on our plan to market Driftwood LNG volumes on indices that our customers want," President and Chief Executive Octávio Simões said in a statement.

Vitol, based in Geneva, "expressed interest in the development of Driftwood early on, and it is fulfilling to finalize this agreement with the world’s largest independent trader of energy." 

The Vitol and Gunvor agreements are each for three million metric tons of LNG per year.

The LNG would be delivered from Tellurian’s proposed $17 billion Driftwood LNG facility near Lake Charles, La.

In April, Charif Souki, chairman and co-founder of Tellurian, blamed short-sellers -- investors who bet that a stock's price will drop -- for a slump in the company’s stock price.

During the last two weeks of March, short positions in Tellurian increased by nine million shares, reaching about 13.3% of the company’s traded stock, data compiled by Bloomberg News showed. The shares have tumbled almost 60% since mid-February.