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Keppel in talks with Golar for FLNG project for Tortue field

KEPPEL Corporation is in talks with liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping company Golar LNG on floating LNG (FLNG) projects for the Tortue field located offshore Mauritania and Senegal.

Golar said on Thursday that it had struck a preliminary agreement with BP to provide a FLNG unit for the oil major's Greater Tortue/Ahmeyin project development.

Of the four partners in the oilfield project, BP has the largest interest of about 60 per cent, and is the operator.

Golar said that it has exchanged heads of terms for a charter agreement with BP, representing a commitment to translate key commercial terms into a full agreement and proceed with the front-end engineering design in providing a FLNG vessel.

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The agreement with BP also includes an option, but not an obligation, for a second FLNG vessel.

Keppel noted in a statement that the preliminary agreement to develop and execute a 20-year charter agreement is similar to the FLNG Hilli Episeyo project that Keppel had completed in partnership with Golar.

"We can confirm that we are in discussions with Golar on FLNG conversion projects for the Tortue field, the first of which involves the Gimi," said a Keppel spokesman.

The Gimi is one of three FLNG vessels that Keppel Offshore and Marine has a standing agreement with Golar LNG to convert. The first - Hilli Episeyo - was delivered last year, and was the world's first converted floating liquefaction vessel.

The Keppel spokesman added: "We will make an announcement if there are any material developments."

Keppel's shares last closed at S$8.21 on Friday, up 14 Singapore cents or 1.7 per cent from its previous close.