For U.S. LNG project developers, times are tougher than trying to grab a couple of winks on a bed of nails. Not that times were ever easy to get these multi-billion-dollar projects off the ground given the inherent complexities in the process. But then came that whole permit delay nonsense back in January that descended like a swollen black cloud over five LNG plants now under development and another 16 under consideration. Only that was just the latest of bedevilments.

Reese Energy Consulting today is following news on those LNG developers now under construction—still waiting to see which way the political winds blow on export approvals while battling labor, engineering, construction, and materials costs that have risen 25% over the last three years. Maybe the most shocking example of this is Golden Pass in Sabine Pass, Texas, whose construction contractor suddenly filed last month for bankruptcy after its $9.25 billion fixed-price estimate in 2019 ballooned to $11.6 billion in 2022.

Work on the LNG plant is currently stalled, but doubtfully for long. Golden Pass is a joint venture between Exxon and Qatar. Qatar announced in March it’s out to reclaim its former #1 LNG exporter status from the U.S. by expanding the Gulf nation’s LNG output by 85% and seizing a 25% share of the global market by 2030. Read into that what you will.

Meanwhile, other Middle East investments in U.S. LNG projects are ramping up to include ADNOC’s very first last month in the U.S., with a 11.7% stake in NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project along with a 20-year sales agreement. Saudi’s ARAMCO earlier in June also signed a 20-year offtake agreement with NextDecade.