Ophir eyes US$1.2 billion funding for Fortuna FLNG project

Ophir Energy expects to take a Final Investment Decision (FID) for its Fortuna FLNG project off Equatorial Guinea early next year, once an agreement with an Asian bank to provide funding of up to US$1.2 billion has been confirmed.


Fortuna sits within the Block R license, offshore Equatorial Guinea which is located in the south-eastern part of the prolific Niger Delta complex. Ophir has an 80% operated interest in the license and GEPetrol holds the remaining 20%.


Amid slow progress with securing the finances for the project, in late November Ophir agreed a twelve-month extension to the Block R licence to the end of December 2018, pushing the FID to the first quarter of 2018.


On the 18th December Ophir said it had decided to prioritise one of the alternative funding solutions which would see an unnamed Asian bank provide funding of up to US$1.2 billion, on similar commercial terms to those agreed earlier this year with the group of three Chinese banks.


“These discussions are at an advanced stage and whilst significant progress was made towards closing out the financing in December, it has not proven possible in the limited time available,” the company said.


These discussions are now continuing into the New Year and, upon confirmation of the financing, the project will proceed to the Final Investment Decision.


Furthermore, Ophir is collaborating with OneLNG to confirm a prompt start to Fortuna Project.


Nick Cooper, Chief Executive of Ophir, commented: “We are now focusing our efforts on closing out the prioritised solution and remain confident of commencing the Fortuna project in early 2018.”


The project’s FID had been initially expected in mid-2016 but was then postponed for the fourth quarter of 2016 only to be postponed again for the first half of 2017. In September 2017, Ophir aimed at a fourth quarter 2017 FID, only to delay once again for the first quarter of 2018.


Initial off-take 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.