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Golden Pass LNG beefs up trading team as it moves closer to startup

By Liz Hampton

Sept 2 (Reuters) - Golden Pass LNG, a joint venture between Qatar Energy and Exxon Mobil, is adding trading staff as it moves closer to commercial operations and as rivals beef up exports, according to LinkedIn profile updates.

Demand for the super cooled gas has sky-rocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting a squeeze on European energy supplies. U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports averaged 11.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) during the first four months of 2022, an 18% increase from 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Golden Pass, located near Sabine Pass, Texas, is under construction and targeting a 2024 startup. The 15.6 million tonne per year facility will compete with existing export plants and nearly a dozen others moving toward construction greenlights.

Exxon Mobil and Golden Pass LNG did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Golden Pass this year snagged Lukasz Szczepankowski from Germany's Uniper to serve as a director of commercial LNG planning, and in May hired Abe Topham as director of fundamental analytics, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Topham had previously been a director at Calpine.

Ross Haggard in August joined Golden Pass as a senior commercial trading analyst after a brief stint a BP, according to his LinkedIn. He had previously been a commercial analyst for Golden Pass.

Golden Pass also has advertised for a trader on LinkedIn.

Haggard declined to comment. Szczepankowski and Topham did not immediately respond to a request for comment via LinkedIn.

"In anticipation of several LNG facilities reaching long-awaited FID, 2022 has seen a significant increase in the hiring of LNG supply and trading talent across front office trading and origination, risk, analytics, and scheduling," said David Byrne, head of Aurex Group's LNG, Gas and Power Trading Recruitment practice. (Reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver; Editing by Josie Kao)

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