Golar replaces Excelerate as Ophir’s FLNG partner in Equatorial Guinea

London: Golar LNG has agreed to supply Ophir Energy with its GoFLNG vessel Gimi, which will be deployed at the Fortuna LNG project in offshore Equatorial Guinea.

The vessel will replace the previously announced floating liquefaction storage and offloading (FLSO) that would have been supplied by Houston-based Excelerate Energy.

In November 2014, Excelerate Energy signed an MOU with Ophir to be its midstream partner and provide a FLSO vessel at the Fortuna LNG project.

A spokesman for Ophir Energy told Splash this morning that the non-binding MOU had been dissolved by “mutual agreement” of both parties, but declined to give further details.

Golar and Ophir have signed a binding heads of terms agreement, which will be ratified next week by GEPetrol, Ophir’s upstream partner at Fortuna LNG project in the Block-R field, Equatorial Guinea. The vessel will be chartered on a 20-year tolling contract.

Commercial operations are expect to commence in the first six months of 2019, when production is expected to be around 67,000 boepd.

Golar says GoFLNG has a “competitive tariff directly comparable to the USA Gulf of Mexico brown field LNG projects currently under construction”. The company expects operating profit of around $350m during in the first full year of the unit’s operation.

The Gimi is currently being converted from a Moss-type LNG carrier into a FLNG vessel at Keppel Shipyard, Singapore. Completion of the conversion is expected in late 2017.

Gimi is the first of two options on a previous contract signed in July 2014 for the conversion of another Moss-type LNG carrier, Hilli, into an FLNG vessel.

“Golar has now, based on its framework agreement with Keppel Shipyard, commenced negotiations for the company’s third GoFLNG vessel,” Golar’s CEO Gary Smith confirmed today.

“Finalising our midstream partner is a significant step forward for the Fortuna FLNG project,” said Nick Cooper, Ophir’s CEO.

“This agreement accelerates first gas date and reduces costs along the value chain. The project has been refined to allow the option to deliver LNG at attractive returns into both Pacific Basin and Atlantic Basin LNG customers.”

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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