Ophir Energy denied block license extension in Equatorial Guinea

oil rig 3789758 640The block is estimated to hold 3.4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable gas reserves. (Image source: elliottsday /pixabay)The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea has confirmed that no further extension has been granted to Ophir’s Block R production sharing contract

The Ministry issued a notice informing the London-based company of its decision in December following the expiry of Ophir’s exploration licence. As a result, Ophir is no longer the operator of the block, which has now returned to the state, the Ministry added.

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, said, “The Ministry recognises and strongly appreciates the commitment of Ophir in its exploration activities in Equatorial Guinea and welcomes further investment in appropriate opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector.”

The Ministry has commended Ophir’s exploration efforts in the Block R license, which contains six commercial discoveries.

Ophir’s work programme began in 2008 and three exploration wells led to the discoveries of Fortuna and Lykos. The company planned to install a floating liquefied natural gas plant called Fortuna FLNG on the block but failed to secure financial investment. Floating LNG has emerged as a template for developing offshore gas on a well-supplied global gas market.

The block which covers an area of approximately 2,450 km2, is located in the Distal Niger Delta, approximately 140 km off the coast of Bioko Island, at water depths ranging from 600 m to 1,950 m.

The block is estimated to hold 3.4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable gas reserves, of which the Fortuna field accounts for around 1.3TCF, followed by the Silenus Complex with 1.2TCF, the Tonal discovery holds about 0.5TCF and other smaller discoveries that hold 0.4TCF.

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