Oil has bottomed, worst behind us now: Cheniere's Souki

Cheniere CEO: The worst is now behind us

Charif Souki, CEO of liquefied natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy, said U.S. oil prices have bottomed and the worst is behind now.

"In my sense, we probably have bottomed," Souki told CNBC's "Halftime Report" on Wednesday. "Because you always have to allow for the financial players who come in and look at trends and try to be a few months ahead of the physical [market]."

He said recent production cuts in the U.S. will play out and eventually lead a "ramp up" in production. "It may take another few months, but I think the worse is now behind us and the correction mechanism has started," Souki said in an exclusive interview from the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

Charif Souki, Founder of Tellurian Investments
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

He said WTI prices most likely bottomed in the high $40 range earlier this year. Souki's comments come in contrast to what a number other experts have said.

Last week, Rob Sechan, an institutional consultant at UBS, said he doesn't think oil has bottomed, but it's stabilized.

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However, Souki said the outlook for Brent prices aren't as cut and dry. It depends on "whether we're going to eliminate the ban on exports or not…. The world is different without the United States," Souki said.

Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield expressed similar sentiments on earlier this week. In an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday, Sheffield said there was a 40 to 50 percent chance that the U.S. would lift its 40-year ban on crude exports this year.

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LNG has been one of the few growth stories in the embattled global energy market, capped off by Shell's recent agreement to acquire BG.

Based in Houston, Cheniere Energy is on the verge of beginning the first exports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. mainland later this year. The company has two liquefaction projects underway and it sees itself producing some 40 million tons of energy a year by the end of the decade.

Souki says the company is positioned to become one of the world's leading LNG exporters, likely to represent about 10 percent of global market by 2020.