Further delays expected at LNG project off Senegal and Mauritania
The target for first gas from the BP-led Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) LNG project off Senegal and Mauritania has slipped further back from the first half to the third quarter of 2023, project investor Kosmos Energy said July 6, citing supplier delays and cost inflation.
The first phase of the project was sanctioned in late 2018, with a liquefaction capacity of 2.5mn metric tons/year. Production was originally due to start in 2020, but the launch was pushed back to 2023 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In Mauritania and Senegal, the GTA project continued to make steady progress during the quarter with key milestones achieved across all major workstreams,” Andrew Inglis, the CEO of Kosmos, said on July 6. “However, we are seeing cost inflation and supplier delays in the current environment together with some scope growth and, as a result, we are updating our estimates, with first gas now expected in the third quarter of 2023.”
Kosmos noted that the project's floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit was expected to arrive three months later than planned because of labour shortages at the COSCO yard in China that is building it. All told, GTA's first phase is now projected to cost 15% more than anticipated, the company warned.
The setback comes after Kosmos in November reported that BP and other investors in the project had downsized its second phase in an attempt to cut costs. Originally the second phase was to ramp up output to 10mn mt/yr, but this has been lowered to 5mn mt/yr.
Rather than requiring a new FPSO, the second stage will instead involve expanding the existing vessel. The expansion will also utilise spare capacity at the first-phase subsea infrastructure, and will no longer need a second gas export line from the FPSO to the hub terminal to be built.
A final investment decision on the second phase is still on track for late 2022, Kosmos said.
Despite the difficulties at GTA, the company said it still expected to create shareholder value through the rest of the year, due in large part to the increase in crude oil prices. It expects to end the year with a production rate of around 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent/d, unchanged from its previous estimates.