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    Equatorial Guinea Round Over, Results Soon: Source


The hydrocarbons minister is expected to make an announcement at a major Cape Town conference next week.

by: William Powell

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Equatorial Guinea Round Over, Results Soon: Source

Equatorial Guinea finished its latest licensing round October 27 and the ministry for mines and hydrocarbons is now discussing the applications, a source involved in the process told NGW November 1. Among the blocks on offer is the one that would have been home to the Fortuna LNG project, then operated by Ophir Energy. The rights reverted to the government a year ago, following a lengthy but fruitless effort by the partners to arrange financing.

The minister Gabriel Obiang Lima will announce some information next week at the Africa Oil Week Conference in Cape Town, the source said. But this is a slippage from the mid-October date originally planned for the announcement.

Lima told NGW at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi in September that Ophir might have had more luck if the group had involved the government more, and taken advantage of its ties with Singapore and China, rather than trying to do it alone. 

Ophir drilled three wells and two found gas and the other, oil. Obiang said there could have been two projects operating there by now, each with a floating production, storage and offtake vessel. But he said that eight companies had expressed interest in the offshore blocks, including Fortuna's. That was based on reserves of 2.3 trillion ft3.

Equatorial Guinea is already home to an LNG project, of which all the output has been sold to BG (now Shell). That was a large contribution to BG's LNG business as cargoes were sold to the much higher-priced Asian market despite being indexed in the government contract against US Henry Hub prices. The offtaker shared the profits with Equatorial Guinea, Obiang said. That project also needs additional gas, he said, adding he was not happy with the operator, Marathon, which is not investing enough offshore.