Equatorial Guinea moves to reposition Energy Sector
In its bids to reposition the energy sector, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea executed the Definitive Agreements with the Alen Unit and respective Punta Europa Plant owners to monetize gas from the Alen Unit, located in Blocks O and I offshore Equatorial Guinea (EG) and operated by Noble Energy EG Ltd.
The definitive agreements commit for tolling Alen Unit gas through Alba Plant LLC’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) processing plant and EG LNG’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility, both located in Punta Europa. Marathon Oil is the majority shareholder in both Alba Plant LLC and EG LNG. This agreement will see Sonagas GE, the National Gas Company of Equatorial Guinea stake increased from 25% to 30%
Existing production and processing facilities are already in place at the Alen Platform and in Punta Europa. The Alen offshore platform will undergo minor modifications to export gas while primary condensate will continue to be produced and lifted offshore via the Aseng FPSO. The Alen Unit joint venture will install and operate a 70-kilometer pipeline to transport gas from the Alen Platform to Punta Europa, where it will be processed and transported for sales on the global market. The pipeline will be capable of transporting approximately 950 MMscfd of gas. First gas is expected in 1Q 2021. The Alen Unit gas monetization project will leverage the capacity of the world class Punta Europa facilities. Modifications are already underway at Alba Plant in order to receive Alen Unit gas. No process modifications are expected at EG LNG in order to process Alen Unit gas.
The project will provide an additional source of gas for the Punta Europa facilities and will transform the Alen platform into an Offshore Gas Hub for development of both Alen Unit gas, other Block O and I discoveries and potentially additional Gulf of Guinea gas fields. The Alen Gas Offshore Hub will be the first hub in the Government’s vision of developing Equatorial Guinea as a Gas Mega Hub, comprising of additional offshore gas hubs, all feeding gas into the Punta Europa facilities.
“This is the kick off of our Gas Mega Hub and we will do more deals on other gas assets in the country that must be developed. Development of the Gas Mega Hub will ensure a thriving Equatorial Guinea gas industry into the future. It is my firm believe that it will create opportunities for development of our citizens in the Upstream and Downstream segments of the country’s oil and natural gas industry” said the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.
“Monetization of Alen Unit gas could deliver around $1.5-2 billion dollars in additional State revenues over the life of the project, including revenues from Alen Unit and respective Punta Europa plants. Local content is going to play an integral part in the implementation of the project when it comes to contracting and jobs for our citizens. I am happy this project will support employment of Equatoguineans employed by the Punta Europa plants and Alen platform, which currently stands at approximately 1,400 employees in total” added the Minister.
The Alen Unit is comprised of the Block O and Block I contractor groups. The members of the Block O contractor group are Noble Energy, which serves as the technical operator, Glencore Exploration Limited and Compañía Nacional de Petróleos de Guinea Ecuatorial (“GEPetrol”). The members of the Block I contractor group are Noble Energy which serves as the technical operator, Glencore Exploration (EG) Limited, Atlas-Oranto Petroleum International Limited, Gunvor Resources Limited and GEPetrol.
The Punta Europa parties include Alba Plant LLC, Alba Unit and Equatorial Guinea LNG Train 1, S.A. (EGLNG). The interest holders in Alba Plant LLC include Marathon Oil, Samedan of North Africa, LLC (a subsidiary of Noble Energy Inc.) and Sociedad Nacional de Gas de Guinea Ecuatorial (Sonagas G.E. S.A.). The shareholders of EG LNG’s holding company include Marathon Oil, Sonagas, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Marubeni Gas Development UK Limited.