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Ophir Holdings & Ventures has signed an agreement with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, OneLNG and La Compañía Nacional De Petróleos De Guinea Ecuatorial (GEPetrol) for the deepwater Fortuna FLNG Project. 

The umbrella agreement (UA) is a key step ahead of the final investment decision (FID) and provides a complete legal and fiscal framework to the Fortuna FLNG Project in offshore Equatorial Guinea.

It also reconfirms the participation rights of GEPetrol as partner for 20% in the upstream part of the project.

The participation can be increased to a further 30% ownership of the midstream FLNG vessel by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea or a designated state company. 

Operations at Fortuna FLNG Project FID are scheduled for mid-2017 and the first gas is expected to be produced by mid-2020. 

Republic of Equatorial Guinea Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said: “This agreement is in line with the government’s objective to deliver important projects that monetises our gas, promotes local content and brings world-class petroleum technology to Equatorial Guinea. 

“The participation of Equatorial Guinea’s national companies was critical to Fortuna’s success and to maximising the project’s value at every level of the gas supply chain.” 

The company also stated that impending contract awards for construction are progressing and on schedule, which is another milestone necessary for FID.

"The remaining milestones of the construction contract awards, the finalisation of debt and the LNG offtake are as advanced as we had wanted them to be at this stage."

Term sheets have also been agreed with a consortium of China-based lenders, which have now entered the final documentation stage. 

Ophir Energy chief executive Nick Cooper said: “The remaining milestones of the construction contract awards, the finalisation of debt and the LNG offtake are as advanced as we had wanted them to be at this stage.

“The Fortuna FLNG Project therefore remains firmly on schedule for an FID by mid-year.”

The expected total capital expenditure for the project to reach first gas is nearly $2bn, with $1.2bn of this expected to be debt-financed.


Image: Ophir Energy operation in Africa. Photo:  courtesy of Ophir Energy plc via Flickr.