Ophir Energy has awarded midstream construction contracts for Fortuna floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project offshore, Equatorial Guinea.

The Fortuna project is located within the Block R license, offshore Equatorial Guinea, about 140km west of Bioko Island, in the south-eastern part of the Niger Delta complex.

The site is expected to hold about 3.0 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of LNG in a total of six commercial discoveries. The site is in water depths ranging between 1680- 1850m.

The project is expected to be Africa’s first deepwater FLNG project and the first gas from the project could reach by mid-2020 at an estimated cost of $2bn.

Golar LNG has executed, amended and novated agreements to convert the 126,000m3 LNG carrier Gandria to a floating liquefaction facility.

A primary contract for the FLNG Gandria was entered into with Singapore’s Keppel Shipyard. Black & Veatch has agreed to offer its licensed PRICO technology, perform detailed engineering and process design, specify and procure topside equipment, and provide commissioning support for the FLNG topsides and liquefaction process.

Ophir stated that the Gandria vessel will be acquired by Fortuna Joint Operating Company, after final investment decision (FID) is reached in mid-2017. The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has the right to acquire up to 30% of the vessel.

The engineering, procurement and construction contracts are on schedule and term sheets have also been agreed by a consortium of China-based lenders.

Ophir Energy CEO Nick Cooper said: “The award of the Midstream construction completes another milestone as we approach FID. We remain firmly on schedule for the FID of Africa’s first deep water FLNG Project in mid-2017.”

Recently, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Ophir Holdings & Ventures, OneLNGSA and La Compañía Nacional De Petróleos De Guinea Ecuatorial (GEPetrol) have entered into an umbrella agreement (UA) to develop legal and fiscal framework for the Fortuna FLNG project.