Schlumberger has quit its OneLNG joint venture with Golar LNG Partners owing to financial delays, leaving the $2bn Fortuna FLNG project offshore Equitorial Guinea at risk.

OneLNG along with Ophir Energy had formed a joint operating company in November 2016 to develop the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project. While Ophir Energy holds a stake of 33.8%, OneLNG holds the remaining stake of 66.2% in the Fortuna FLNG project, which is expected to achieve production of first gas in the first quarter of 2020.

According to Golar, an attractive debt financing package for the project is yet to be finalized in spite of an agreed development plan for the FLNG project in place and extensive efforts in the last one year by OneLNG and Ophir management.

Due to this and other capital and resource priorities not being met yet have resulted in the exit of Schlumberger from the Fortuna FLNG project.

Following Schlumberger’s exit, Golar LNG Partners has dissolved OneLNG but is expected to work with Ophir on the offshore gas project. Golar and Schlumberger had created the 51:49 joint venture in July 2016.

Golar LNG Partners, in a statement, said: “Whilst it is disappointing that Schlumberger will no longer be part of the partnership group, Golar and Ophir remain actively engaged in senior level discussions with a number of counterparties over a financing solution for the project.”

Ophir said that as part of its contingency planning for the FLNG project, it has already carried out informal talks with other, well-capitalized, potential partners for the Fortuna project. It added that after the announcement of the OneLNG dissolution, it has formalized talks with potential partners and is actively taking them forward.

Ophir said that it continues to be focused on maximizing value creation for its shareholders by monetizing the Fortuna discovery.

The Fortuna FLNG project is located in the Block R license, nearly 140km west of Bioko Island, and will see development of six commercial discoveries in a phased manner.