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Equatorial Guinea aims for FLNG, to build oil terminal

posted by – December 3rd, 2013

Equatorial Guinea is looking to be the first country in Africa to have a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) storage facility, with planned capacity of 2.5 million tonnes a year, its energy minister said on Thursday.

“We are working with Keppel on the possibility,” Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima told Reuters in an interview on Thursday, referring to Singapore’s Keppel Corporation Ltd.

First production of FLNG could take place in 2016, he said.

“The bulk of the investment will come from the government of Equatorial Guinea, Keppel and a third party. We will announce very soon who is in these discussions,” he said on the sidelines of an oil and gas conference in Singapore.

He said an announcement could be made in a week’s time and that the third party will be from Asia.

“The original tanker will arrive in Singapore next year, and they will start with the reconversion,” he said.

Singapore’s Keppel Corp is the world’s top offshore drilling rig builder and owns Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M).

A Japanese company, which he declined to name, is currently a major buyer of Equatorial Guinea’s LNG and will be the offtaker of LNG from the floating storage.


Another plan in the pipeline is a 2.2 million cubic metre oil terminal on Bioko Island, off Cameroon and to the northwest of mainland Equatorial Guinea.

Construction of the oil terminal costing nearly $500 million is to begin next year and it would take about 36 months to complete, the minister said.

Half of the storage capacity will be for refined products and the rest for crude blending.

Dutch company Vopak would be the initial operator but Equatorial Guinea will look to add another operator.

“We are very interested in the oil terminal because that would allow a lot of the producers and traders to accumulate the crude and do some blending and be able to have VLCCs or Suez to ship this to Asia,” Obiang said.

Crude oil is the main export product for Equatorial Guinea along with LNG. The country currently exports about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and, if all the current drillings are successful, the volume is expected to go up to 300,000 bpd in about five years, Obiang said.

In total, the country exports nearly 419,000 bpd of liquids, which includes crude, methanol and LNG, and this is expected to double in about five years.

China is its major crude buyer while Japan and South Korea are the major gas customers.

Despite its crude resources, Equatorial Guinea has no plans to build a refinery as it was not economical to do so, the minister said.

An additional 16 oil and gas blocks in areas including the Cameroon Basin and Niger Delta will be put up for licensing but no dates have been set.

“We will study the best way to do the promotion. By the first quarter of next year, we will announce it,” Obiang said.

Equatorial Guinea is also exploring opportunities in the pre-salt area of Rio Muni and will be working with PanAtlantic and Hess to drill a first well and do studies,

Pre-salt layers contain petroleum.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) will start drilling a deep-water well next year in Rio Muni.