Shell is among energy companies that have filed arbitration cases against Venture Global LNG over its failure to supply fuel under long-term contracts even as it has shipped at least 190 cargoes to non-contract customers.
“This is a wake-up call for the industry. The LNG business is underpinned by trust in long-term contracts,” Hill said during the Gastech conference in Singapore.
“The long-term commitment that foundation buyers make enable the regulatory certainty, the financing, and the development of your LNG projects. If contracts are seen as options for suppliers, then buyers simply won’t sign them and the industry won’t grow,” he said.
A spokesperson for Venture Global LNG did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment outside business hours.
Venture Global LNG has blamed equipment failures for its inability to supply long-term contract holders with LNG cargoes and called the shipments to date “pre-commission cargoes”.
In an April filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the company said it expects commercial operations to begin in the first quarter of 2024.
The company started gas processing at its Calcasieu Pass facility in Louisiana in March 2022 and had delivered at least 177 cargoes valued at $15.3 billion through May, according to a Reuters tally.
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.
Missing out on billions of dollars in sales, Shell and BP have separately filed for arbitration in London against Venture Global for failing to supply contracted cargoes.
A similar case was brought by Italian utility Edison in May this year, while another Venture Global LNG contract customer, Spanish energy firm Repsol has asked U.S. regulators to release confidential records that would shed light on the plant’s startup.
Portuguese oil company Galp Energia has said it was weighing options.
Reporting by Jeslyn Lerh, Sudarshan Varadhan and Emily Chow; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Tomasz Janowski and Mike Harrison