UK-listed explorer Ophir Energy is eying floating LNG to develop its Equatorial Guinea gas fields and has signed a letter of intent with Petrofac to help it draw up a field development plan.
Ophir has an 80% interest in Block R, in the south-eastern part of the Niger Delta complex, in 600-1950m water depths, offshore Equatorial Guinea. Five discoveries have been made, with total gross 2C gas resources discovered estimated at about 2.6Tcf, with further upside identified.
Petrofac will provide services as operator of the proposed gas development up to the final investment decision, including preparing and issuing the field development plan for the project and co-ordination of the interface between the upstream and midstream elements of the development.
Ophir has also held discussions with a number of floating LNG (FLNG) vessel providers for the project. A number of proposals have now been shortlisted for further assessment, with non-binding letters of intent signed today in Singapore.
Ophir has been assessing LNG export solutions for its Equatorial Guinea gas finds. It has said that the resources proved to date are enough to underpin a potential LNG export development. Options included backfilling an existing LNG train on Bioko Island, operated by Marathon, building a second LNG train, or using a floating LNG solution. The last would be aided by the nature of the dry gas resource and the benign sea conditions in the Gulf of Guinea.
Nick Cooper, Ophir’s CEO, said: “The company is making considerable progress in commercializing the gas resource we have proved up to date in Equatorial Guinea. The proposed FLNG project has received strong support from the Government and we look forward to communicating to the market further progress through the year as the project gathers momentum.”
Six wells have been drilled in Block R to date in two drilling campaigns, in 2008 and 2012, with two gas discoveries (Lykos and Fortuna), made in the first campaign, and three gas discoveries (Tonel, Fortuna East and Fortuna West) in the 2012 campaign.
Ophir acquired the block in April 2006, and has a 100% paying interest. Ophir is carrying the state oil company (GEPetrol) through exploration and appraisal for its 20% beneficial interest until the date of a declaration of commerciality.