Schlumberger has decided to withdraw from its OneLNG upstream joint venture with Golar due to a lack of progress at Ophir Energy’s Fortuna FLNG project offshore Equatorial Guinea.
Golar pointed out that the recent LNG price increases had strengthened the solid financial returns already anticipated from the Fortuna project.
However, despite an agreed development plan and the efforts of all three parties over the past 12 months, no progress has resulted on finalizing the debt financing package.
As a result, Golar and Schlumberger plan to wind down OneLNG and work instead on other FLNG projects as required on a case-by-case basis.
At the same time, efforts continued to find the optimum capital structure, but Golar does not view the issue of new equity at current share price levels as an attractive option for the financing.
However, use of alternative yards that can provide financing and the potential involvement of a new industrial partner are both under consideration.
Ophir Energy confirmed it remained actively engaged (with Golar) in discussions with various counterparties over a financing solution, and the company has already held informal discussions with other, well-capitalized, potential partners concerning Fortuna.