London-Based Mining Company, Ophir Energy Denied License Extension to Work on Equatorial Guinea’s Fortuna Gas Mining Block

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Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has confirmed that no further contract extension has been granted to London-based company, Ophir to work on its off-shore Fortuna gas mining block.

The Ministry issued a notice informing the London-based company of its decision in December, after Ophir’s exploration license expired. As a result, Ophir is no longer operator of the block, which has now returned to the State.

“The Ministry recognizes 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,” said the country’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.

The Ministry was nonetheless quick to commend Ophir’s exploration efforts in the Block R license, which contains six commercial discoveries.

Ophir’s work program began in 2008 and three exploration wells resulted in the Fortuna and Lykos discoveries. The company planned to install a floating liquefied natural gas plant, named Fortuna FLNG, on the block, pending investment in the project. Floating LNG has emerged as a template for developing offshore gas in a well-supplied global gas market.

Covering an area of approximately 2,450 square-kilometers (km), Block R is located in Distal Niger Delta, approximately 140 km off the Coast of Bioko Island, in water depths ranging from 600 to 1,950 meters.

It is estimated to hold 3.4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable gas reserves, of which the Fortuna field accounts for approximately 1.3TCF.

“Block R has been returned to the State. The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons welcomes further investment in hydrocarbon sector opportunities, recognizes Ophir’s commitment in Equatorial Guinea,” the Ministry said in a statement.

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