Thursday, 12 July 2018

Ophir lost in space

Ophir’s Equatorial Guinea Fortuna FLNG project faces further uncertainty as the government threatens to pass the Block R licence which contains the gas field to another company in December when it expires. It has given Ophir an ultimatum to present a firm financing plan and progress the FLNG project.

The FLNG concept is still relatively new technology and together with the geography, Ophir has found it challenging to raise bank financing or secure partners over the past few years when the global LNG outlook was uncertain. With the improving LNG demand outlook, Ophir now faces competition from US LNG which has accelerated miles ahead.

The government has not named who it will pass the licence to in December, but this could be the likes of Perenco, who started export at its own FLNG project in Cameroon earlier this year, or Kosmos who is pursuing the Tortue FLNG project with BP in Mauritania/Senegal.

Shortly after the government’s intention were made public, Ophir announced that it had entered into a farm-out agreement on its EG-24 licence in Equatorial Guinea to Kosmos, further lending credence to the hinted company being Kosmos. Under the farm-out, Kosmos will acquire a 40% non-operated interest and fully carry the cost of a block 3D seismic survey. For Kosmos, the deal supplements its recently acquired positions in Okume and Ceiba back in 2017.


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