Exxon and Qatar Petroleum will proceed with a $10 billion expansion of their Golden Pass liquefied natural gas import terminal in Texas to turn it into an export facility as well, Reuters reports, citing source familiar with the matter.
The third partner in the venture, ConocoPhillips, however, will not be joining them in the expansion and has decided to sell the 12.4% interest it holds in Golden Pass, the sources said, adding that Exxon, which has a 17.4% stake in the project, is the most likely buyer.
Qatar Petroleum is the majority shareholder in the venture with 70%.
The Golden Pass terminal can accommodate up to 56 million cubic meters of natural gas for regasification right now. The sources did not detail the capacity of the future export part of the facility.
Reuters sources also noted that Exxon and Qatar Petroleum have been forging closer ties in the liquefied natural gas segment across the world, from Qatar itself to Mozambique and the United States, which, thanks to the shale gas boom, has become an increasingly important exporter of LNG.
Qatar plans to invest $20 billion in US natural gas, part of a larger US investment campaign by the Qatar Investment Authority that will total $45 billion as it diversifies away from Europe.
Meanwhile, LNG capacity is growing along with demand. Earlier this week, oilfield services provider Baker Hughes’s chief executive, Lorenzo Simonelli said he expected new LNG projects with a total capacity of 100 million tons per year could be approved this year alone.