UK’s Ophir Energy has selected Gunvor Group as the preferred buyer of LNG for offtake from the Fortuna FLNG project located offshore Equatorial Guinea.

Ophir Energy’s subsidiary Ophir Equatorial Guinea, as well as the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH), OneLNG, and La Compania Nacional De Petroleos De Guinea Ecuatorial have agreed to the principal commercial terms subject to finalising a sale and purchase agreement for the offtake.

Republic of Equatorial Guinea Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said: “The selection of Gunvor sets a landmark moment in the development of the Fortuna Project.

“The partnership with Gunvor also paves the way for the government’s objective to deliver important projects that monetise our gas, promotes local content, and brings world-class petroleum technology to Equatorial Guinea.”

After signing the agreement, Gunvor will take the full contract capacity of the Gandria FLNG vessel of 2.2 MMTPA.

"Gunvor’s involvement is a further addition to a strong partnership along the Fortuna value chain."

The vessel will be bought on a Brent-linked, free on board (FOB) basis for a ten-year period.

Ophir Energy chief executive Nick Cooper said: “Gunvor’s involvement is a further addition to a strong partnership along the Fortuna value chain.

“With Golar’s sister vessel, the Hilli, nearing completion and with Petronas FLNG having recently delivered commercial cargoes, FLNG is now entering the mainstream.”

The agreement also provides the Fortuna partners, including the State of Equatorial Guinea, the right to sell volumes to higher priced African gas markets beyond retaining a proportion of profits.

The project now needs to complete the necessary funding, which is the last significant milestone ahead of the final investment decision (FID) scheduled later this year.