24 December 2017, Lagos – An unnamed Asian bank will provide funding of up to $1.2 billion for the Fortuna FLNG project off Equatorial Guinea.
London-based Ophir Energy expects to take a Final Investment Decision, FID, for the project, once an agreement with the Asian bank has been confirmed.
Fortuna is located in Block R license, offshore Equatorial Guinea which is located in the south-eastern part of the prolific Niger Delta complex. Ophir has an 80% operated interest in the license and GEPetrol holds the remaining 20%.
Amid slow progress with securing the finances for the project, Ophir in late November agreed a 12-month extension to the Block R license to the end of December 2018, pushing the FID to the first quarter of 2018.
On December 18 Ophir said it has decided to prioritise one of the alternative funding solutions that would see an unnamed Asian bank provide funding of up to $1.2 billion, on similar commercial terms to those agreed earlier this year with the group of three Chinese banks.
“These discussions are at an advanced stage and whilst significant progress was made towards closing out the financing in December, it has not proven possible in the limited time available,” the company said.
The discussions are now continuing into the New Year and, upon confirmation of the financing, the project will proceed to the Final Investment Decision, the company stated.
Furthermore, Ophir is collaborating with OneLNG to confirm a prompt start to Fortuna Project.
Nick Cooper, Chief Executive of Ophir, said: “We are now focusing our efforts on closing out the prioritized solution and remain confident of commencing the Fortuna project in early 2018.”