Venture Global LNG Addresses Controversy Surrounding Delayed LNG Cargoes

(Reuters) — Venture Global LNG responded strongly on Monday to allegations from certain customers regarding the delay in LNG shipments from its Louisiana export facility, accusing them of distorting confidential long-term agreements.

Tensions have escalated publicly due to the absence of deliveries to customers such as BP, Shell, Edison International, Repsol, and GALP Energia, a Portuguese energy company. Shell, Edison, and BP have initiated arbitration proceedings against Venture Global, citing its failure to fulfill contracted cargo obligations while simultaneously selling the fuel on the spot market.

Italian electric utility Edison "is pursuing the enforcement of its contractual rights for the ongoing Venture Global breach of the contract," spokesperson Cristina Parenti said on Monday, declining further comment.

Repsol has asked U.S. regulators to intervene. GALP has said it is weighing options.

"These claims are entirely inconsistent with the long-term contracts they signed," Venture Global spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes said on Monday. Calcasieu Pass's customers have been informed that the company is "working hard to commission and complete the facility as quickly as possible," she added.

Venture Global last May told federal regulators it expected to begin commercial shipments in early 2024. Hynes declined to respond to a question on whether the date had changed.

The company started gas processing at its Calcasieu Pass facility in March 2022 and has delivered at least 177 cargoes valued at $15.3 billion through May, according to a Reuters tally.

Equipment problems at the plant have prevented it from being able to deliver commercial shipments to the customers, the company has said. It considers the exports to date "pre-commercial."

Calcasieu Pass is the first of three proposed Venture Global LNG plants. Its first phase stitches together 18 liquefaction units to produce up to 12 million metric tons per year of the supercooled gas.

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