Wed, 11th Nov 2015 07:00
11 November 2015
Ophir Energy plc
Fortuna FLNG Project and Trading Update
Heads of Agreement for gas offtake from Fortuna FLNG
Ophir Energy announces that it has finalised commercial terms and is in the process of signing Heads of Agreement ("HoAs") for LNG offtake from the Fortuna FLNG Project with a shortlisted group of counterparties, all of which are globally established LNG Buyers.
The offtake contracts offer flexibility to competitively deliver the gas into either the Atlantic or Pacific Basin and have been met with strong interest from LNG buyers. The total requested demand under the HoA's has substantially exceeded the available offtake from the project.
Each of the LNG buyers has completed due diligence on the Fortuna FLNG Project prior to agreeing terms. Ophir expects that all of the HoAs will have been signed by the end of November. There will then follow a further shortlisting process to select one or two of these LNG Buyers with whom to sign full Sales & Purchase Agreements ("SPAs") in Q1 2016. This timing is in line with the planned project Final Investment Decision ("FID") in mid-2016.
Fortuna Resource Update
Following further technical work on the gas reservoirs in the Fortuna field complex, ERC Equipoise ("ERCE"), a leading independent evaluator of oil and gas reserves, has increased its estimate of the gross contingent resource on Block R from 2.6 Tcf to 3.0 Tcf. An additional 0.8 Tcf of low risk gross prospective resource (0.7 Tcf risked) is also available and included in the base case planning for Fortuna FLNG.
In addition to these certified resources, management includes a further 0.3 Tcf of contingent resources in the base case that is associated with the implementation of compression later in field life. The approved development scheme will be further certified by ERCE at FID, which will be the point that resources convert to reserves and that reserves are booked for the Fortuna FLNG development.
Fortuna Funding Update
Ophir is in parallel progressing its funding arrangements for the Fortuna FLNG Project. It is expected that the funding options for the project will include project equity, debt, pre-sales of gas, vendor financing and asset divestment. The appropriate balance both equity and debt funding will be sourced to maximise the project's returns for Ophir's shareholders.
Ophir's production for the year to 9th November 2015 has averaged 13,400 boepd (on a proforma basis). Full year 2015 Group production is expected to be above previous guidance at ca. 12,700 boepd on a proforma basis.
Group revenue and operating cashflow from production for the full year are in line with previous forecasts. Capital expenditure in 2015 is expected to be towards the lower end of the range at around $250 million. Group cash at year end is forecast to be approximately $650 million with a net cash position of approximately $350 million.
Looking forward to 2016, Ophir's production is expected to average between 10,500 and 11,500 boepd, with the Kerendan gas field forecast to start contributing production in the second half of the year.
Ophir continues to reduce its total capital expenditure and cost base to maximise liquidity and retain balance sheet strength. Following material reductions to capital expenditure in 2014 and 2015, in 2016 Ophir expects to further reduce capital expenditure to be between $175 million and $225 million. Group operating cashflow from production is forecast to be approximately $100 million which, along with a planned refinancing of the Group debt facilities, is expected to lead to a 2016 year end cash position of between $575 million and $625 million and net cash position of between $250 million and $300 million.
Nick Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Ophir, commented:
"The fact that the Fortuna FLNG Project delivers economically attractive returns in the current price environment and is attracting quality downstream partners is testimony to the relative cost competitiveness of the project. The finalisation and signing of Heads of Agreement for the offtake with leading LNG players, is another major step in derisking the project on the run to FID. We are pleased that the agreements are for a total demand several times greater than the available offtake volume, but are not surprised because the project can deliver volumes into both the Atlantic and Pacific Basins in the top quartile of greenfield LNG project economics."
Ophir is today holding a capital markets presentation focused on the Fortuna FLNG project. This will be webcast live at 2pm today and sign in details can be found at www.ophir-energy.com/investors. No new material information will be revealed.
For Further Enquiries please contact:
Ophir Energy plc +44 (0)20 7811 2400
Nick Cooper, Chief Executive Officer
Bill Higgs, Chief Operating Officer
Geoff Callow, Head of Investor Relations
Brunswick Group +44 (0)20 7404 5959