Ophir’s Fortuna FLNG FID spills over into 2018?

Ophir will most likely not be making a final investment decision for its Fortuna FLNG project in Equatorial Guinea in 2017.


Despite its recent claim it still expected the FID of the Fortuna project to be achieved in the fourth quarter 2017, this now seems unrealistic.


Namely, the company has now agreed a one-year extension to the Block R license, in which its Fortuna FLNG project is located, amid slow progress with securing the finances for the project. The extension runs to the end of December 2018.


“The company, together with its partners in the project, has been pursuing financing discussions with a group of Chinese banks. This process has been taking longer than expected,” Ophir said.


Ophir also said that it has been, in parallel, working to developing alternative funding sources for the Fortuna FLNG project.


“These alternative options are now at an advanced stage. Ophir expects to be in a position to select one of these options and to finalise the financing arrangements for the Project by mid-December 2017,” the company said.


Once the financing arrangements have been selected, Ophir said it would promptly 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 of 2018, the company explained.


Nick Cooper, Chief Executive of Ophir, commented: “The discussions we have had in recent weeks make us more confident than ever that shareholders will realise significant value from Fortuna.”


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 the fourth quarter 2017 FID, only to delay once again for the first quarter of 2018.


The Fortuna project will be developed utilising Golar’s FLNG technology. First gas from the project is expected in the first half of 2020.


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.