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Mitsui Expands Shale Footprint With Texas Purchase

Japanese trading major Mitsui has acquired more shale acreage in Texas as it seeks to expand its presence in the prolific region.

The asset, dubbed Tatonka, was sold by two private companies—Sabana LLC and Vanna LLC, Mitsui said in a news release. It also noted that the asset has access to the Gulf Coast industrial area including export terminals for liquefied natural gas and ammonia production facilities.

“In the U.S., where demand for natural gas is expected to increase due to the start-up of new LNG projects and growth in demand for electricity, Mitsui is also promoting liquefaction and export of U.S. natural gas to global markets, and methanol production businesses using natural gas as feedstock,” the company also said.

U.S. LNG has become a magnet for energy investors in light of forecasts predicting robust demand growth for natural gas in the coming years, despite a push against the cleanest burning hydrocarbon.

Saudi Aramco was also recently reported to be interested in entering U.S. LNG with a stake in a project at the planning stage and a long-term offtake contract with the operator of another facility.

The project Aramco eyes a stake in is Tellurian’s troubled Driftwood LNG facility, which has been plagued by delays, with the company saying earlier this year it planned to make the final investment decision on the project by the end of 2024.

The Driftwood project has a price tag of some $25 billion, of which Tellurian has already spent around $1 billion, with construction at around 30% of completion.

Driftwood LNG will comprise five liquefaction trains, with the first phase of development to add 11 million tons of LNG annually to the U.S. total. Currently, LNG export facilities in the United States have a combined operating capacity under real-world operating conditions of 11.4 billion cubic feet daily, the EIA said in its Annual Energy Outlook last year.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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