Tellurian names Octavio Simoes as new CEO as Gentle departs

US LNG export project developer Tellurian said on Monday that Octavio Simoes would replace Meg Gentle as chief executive officer.

Gentle joined Tellurian as president and CEO in August 2016 after serving as executive vice president-marketing at Cheniere Energy.

Tellurian said that the firm and Gentle mutually agreed to the departure from her position as president and CEO. She also resigned from the board of directors.

It did not provide any additional information.

On the other side, new CEO Simoes previously served at Tellurian as executive vice president, LNG marketing and business development.

He is an industry veteran having previously worked at Sempra as LNG chief. Among others, he led the development of the 12 mtpa Cameron liquefaction plant.

Tellurian’s co-founder and executive chairman Charif Souki said, “I watched Octavio put together a complex project at Cameron LNG with admiration.

“He and I together are responsible for 75 percent of the US liquefaction capacity and I am delighted now to have the opportunity to work with him on Driftwood LNG, the next big milestone in US liquefaction.”

New board additions

Besides replacing CEO, Tellurian also welcomed Jonathan Gross and Jean Abiteboul as new independent board members.

Gross is an oil and gas consultant and his company Jexco provides upstream exploration and geological services. He previously worked at Kuwait Energy Company and Cheniere.

Furthermore, Jean Abiteboul is president of GIIGNL, the Paris- based international group of LNG importers. He also held executive roles at Cheniere but spent the majority of his career at Gaz de France, now Engie.

Tellurian has struggled this year to secure deals for its 27.6 mtpa Driftwood development as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the entire industry.

The US LNG developer also delayed a final investment decision to 2021.

France’s Total is currently the only company that made a firm commitment to support the project with a $500 million investment.

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