Ophir pushes back Fortuna FLNG FID as financing talks continue

London-based Ophir Energy on Thursday said it expects to make a final investment decision on its Fortuna FLNG project in Equatorial Guinea in the first quarter of the next year as it is still in financing discussions for the project with a group of Chinese banks.

The final decision on the FLNG project has been pushed back several times. Previously, Ophir expected to make a final decision in the fourth quarter of this year.

Ophir and its partner, OneLNG, a joint venture between Golar LNG and Schlumberger, have been pursuing financing discussions with a group of Chinese banks for some time.

“This process has been taking longer than expected. Concurrently, Ophir and its partners have therefore also been developing alternative funding sources for the project,” Ophir said in a statement.

According to Ophir, these alternative options are now at an advanced stage. Ophir expects to be in a positon to select one of these options and to finalise the financing arrangements for the FLNG project by mid-December 2017.

Once the financing arrangements have been selected, Ophir will seek approval for the project from its shareholders and the project stakeholders.

The final investment decision, based on this sequence of approvals, would be expected to take place during the first quarter in 2018, Ophir said.

Ophir also said in its statement it had agreed a twelve-month extension to the Block R licence, in which the FLNG project is situated, to the end of December 2018.

Based on the project’s current schedule, first gas is expected in the second half of 2020. Initial offtake is expected to be 2.2-2.5 mtpa for a duration of between 15 and 20 years which will monetise around 2.6 Tcf of the discovered resource.