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U.S. Wants Venture Global to Explain Confidentiality of Its LNG Project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has asked U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter Venture Global LNG to justify why it keeps details of its Calcasieu Pass LNG facility confidential, weeks after customers including BP complained that the U.S. LNG seller had not been transparent about the status of its Louisiana plant.

BP, along with Shell, Repsol, Eni, and Edison, became foundational buyers of Venture Global’s LNG even before it started producing. They paid for the construction of the Calcasieu Pass facility and secured long-term supply from it in a more or less standard deal for the industry.

The facility started producing in early 2022—right on time for Europe, which was beginning to experience a shortage. But instead of honoring its contracts with the European buyers, Venture Global chose to sell more LNG on the spot market.

Venture Global has delayed deliveries to these clients while selling LNG on the spot market, which has made it billions. As for the delay in deliveries to the long-term customers, Venture Global explained it with force majeure because of technical problems with the power supply. As they learned these problems hadn’t stopped the company from producing enough LNG to sell on the spot market, the European buyers got a bit angry.

Venture Global LNG has filed documents about the status of Calcasieu Pass LNG with FERC confidentially under national security provisions. 

In December, BP asked FERC to force Venture Global to disclose the documentation around its force majeure—which Venture Global wants to keep confidential.  

“FERC requires LNG suppliers to disclose publicly the status of their export facilities to ensure transparency and fairness in the regulatory process. Yet Venture Global has repeatedly submitted redacted filings to FERC that obscure the status of its Calcasieu Pass facility,” BP said.

“By doing so without sufficient justification, bp believes Venture Global is not in compliance with FERC’s regulations, withholding critical information and sidestepping public scrutiny of its abnormally lengthy commissioning period,” BP said in its complaint to FERC in December.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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