Ophir spuds deepwater Côte d’Ivoire wildcat, updates Fortuna FLNG
Seadrill’s drillship West Saturn has spudded the ultra-deepwater Ayamé-1X exploration well for Ophir Energy offshore Côte d’Ivoire.
According to partner African Petroleum, the Ayamé -1X well will target Santonian and Turonian turbidite channel complexes in a water depth a water depth of 2,835 m (9,301 ft), with a planned TD of 5,459 m (17,910 ft).
Total depth should be attained within 30 days.
To the east, Ophir,OneLNG, and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea’s state-owned GEPetrol have signed an umbrella agreement that sets out the legal and fiscal framework for Fortuna FLNG, Africa’s first deepwater floating LNG project.
This would harness gas reserves discovered by Ophir on offshore block R.
The UA reconfirms the participation of GEPetrol as a partner for 20% of the upstream portion of the project, with potentially a 30% ownership of the midstream FLNG vessel by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea or a designated state company.
According to Ophir, the UA is one of the critical milestones ahead of an imminent final investment decision, which would allow first gas to flow in mid-2020.
As for the other three milestones:
1.) The impending award of construction contracts is progressing as scheduled.
2.) The partners have agreed on term sheets with a consortium of China-based lenders, and counter-parties to the financing have entered into the final documentation stage.
3.) The Fortuna partners will decide in the next few weeks the volume of the anticipated 2.5 MMt/yr of LNG to put under contract at FID from the several offtake options available.
Ophir estimates capex to first gas at around $2 billion, of which close to $1.2 billion will likely be debt financed, with full drawdown by the start of commercial operations.