UK energy company Ophir Energy is seeking new partners in its gas development project offshore Equatorial Guinea. The company was in talks with field servicing firm Schlumberger over divestment of a 40 percent stake in the project. However, Ophir ended talks in late April saying it couldn’t complete the deal based on the terms agreed to in January. Schlumberger is seeking to purchase a stake in the project.
The $600 million project will be Africa’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project to be completed and deployed in Africa. Ophir holds 80 percent stake in the project and is providing $480 million, representing its share of the project cost. The company says the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the project was 50 percent completed in May.
Final Investment Decision (FID) is expected late in 2016 with first gas scheduled for 2019. However, given the recent downturn in the gas market, especially in Asia, the company had been seeking a partner in the project. Securing a new partner is key to funding the project and accelerating exploration activities in other assets across Africa.
In another development, Marathon Oil of the US has achieved first gas from its Alba B3 compression platform in Equatorial Guinea. The compression platform will allow Marathon Oil to harness about 130 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of undeveloped reserves from Alba field.
The Alba B3 compression project was constructed by Heerema Fabrication Group as general contractor. Part of the platform was fabricated by an Equatoguinean company, which helps bolster the country’s effort towards local capacity development. Alba field is an existing producing field which commenced production of natural gas liquids (NGL) and condensate in 2000 and natural gas in 2001.
The field added LNG to its portfolio in 2007. The field currently produces 170,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) comprising of condensate, LNG, Natural gas and NGL. The field is estimated to hold 4.2 Tcf of natural gas and 295 mmbbl of condensate in place. The additional production is not expected to significantly increase Alba field’s production but will allow the company to maintain maximum production despite declining production from existing facility.