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The ship provider to West Africa’s first floating liquefaction (FLNG) export project says it will start up during March as reported by NaturalGasWord.
“Commercial production of LNG is anticipated in the next few days” at the Cameroon FLNG venture, said UK-based ship operator Golar LNG February 28. It told analysts it would not feel bound to make a further announcement when that occurs.
Its Hilli Episeyo FLNG ship, being deployed at the Perenco-operated Cameroon FLNG venture, has been earning cash for Golar since last month, the company said. Commercial acceptance of the ship, which is already receiving gas, is expected by Perenco by mid-April 2018, in line with its contract, added Golar LNG, noting if the ship is not accepted by then, the penalty payable by it would be $100,000/day.
Offshore Equatorial Guinea, financing of the Ophir-led Fortuna FLNG project remains outstanding, said Golar. But it added that it has moved the ship Gandria to the Keppel shipyard in readiness for its conversion to an FLNG vessel.
Nonetheless, Golar said that its joint venture Sergipe LNG import/power development in Brazil, with US fund Stonepeak, is on schedule and within budget and would be ‘cash generative’ to Golar in 2020 – “ahead of Fortuna FLNG”. In other words, the Brazil import project has overtaken the laggard Fortuna export venture.
Golar LNG’s net income in 4Q was $3.8mn, down from $14mn in 4Q2016; it made a full year 2017 loss of $179.7mn.
Commenting on the LNG carrier market, Golar LNG said that from a spot day charter rate that peaked at a three-year high of $80,000/d in 4Q2017, day rates had recently eased to currently $65,000/d. However it expects a “structural tightening of the LNG shipping market over the next two to three years” as demand grows in China and the Far East and US LNG supply expands.
Golar LNG said that its Golar Tundra FSRU, which departed Ghana in September 2017 after 16 months of idling offshore, is now trading in the LNG carrier market while also looking for potential FSRU employment elsewhere. The ship had originally been expected to become West Africa’s first LNG import terminal by mid-2016, but became the first of three similar ventures – including ones involving either Hoegh or Skaugen – to be stalled or cancelled by Ghana.
Golar LNG’s sister company the shipowner Golar Partners made a net 4Q income was $25.4mn, down from $71.4mn in 4Q2016.
Slide from Golar LNG presentation, February 28 2018 (Credit: Golar LNG)