Federal Regulators Approve Venture Global's Repairs at Louisiana Plant

(Reuters) — U.S. federal regulators said on Tuesday that they are satisfied Venture Global LNG is trying to correct faults at its heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) at its Calcasieu Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana and expects the work to be completed in the timeline promised by the exporter.

Venture Global is the U.S.' fourth largest LNG exporter and has been at the center of a dispute with several of the world's largest energy companies including Shell, BP, Repsol SA, Galp Energia, Edison SpA and Orlen SA, for failing to deliver their cargoes, two years after it first started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The majors have taken Venture Global to arbitration and have even asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny the LNG exporter's request to extend the commissioning period to 2025 or alternatively allow the majors access to confidential information on the commissioning so they can judge if Venture Global has been prolonging the process for its own financial gain.

The company has said the HRSGs at Calcasieu were part of the problem that has delayed commercial operation of the plant.

FERC staff said in their latest report that Venture Global's team was approaching the diagnosis and remediation of the equipment performance in a careful and technically sound manner.

Venture Global is working with the equipment vendor and other industry experts to find a permanent solution to resolve the equipment performance, the site inspection report stated.

FERC did not say in its report what was the timeline given to it by Venture Global for the problems to be fixed.

The report offers further proof that Venture Global is hiding behind non-critical repairs to avoid honoring contracts owed to foundational partners, Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith said.

"The performance of their in-service equipment has been more than adequate to load nearly 300 LNG cargoes, already, and more every week," Smith added.

Venture Global did not comment on the report.

The Louisiana-based LNG exporter has said that the plant's power system was unreliable, and it is not prolonging the commissioning process but rather acting responsibly to get the plant completed. It has said it cannot deliver long-term contracted cargoes unless the plant is complete.

FERC has not yet ruled on the application of the majors to deny the extension request or make the confidential documents available to them.

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