Annual and Transition Report (foreign Private Issuer) (20-f)

Date : 03/29/2019 @ 3:19PM
Source : Edgar (US Regulatory)
Stock : Golar LNG Limited (GLNG)
Quote : 12.79  0.0 (0.00%) @ 9:24AM

Annual and Transition Report (foreign Private Issuer) (20-f)



UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 20-F
(Mark One)
[   ]
  REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g)   OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
[X]
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)  OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2018
 
OR
[   ]
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)  OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from
 
to
 
OR
[   ]
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)  OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
 
Commission file number
000-50113
 
 
  Golar LNG Limited
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 
(Translation of Registrant's name into English)
 
 Bermuda
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
 2nd Floor, S.E. Pearman Building, 9 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
 
Michael Ashford, (1) 441 295 4705
 2nd Floor, S.E. Pearman Building, 9 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda
 
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act.







Title of each class
Name of each exchange
on which registered
Common Shares, par value, $1.00 per share
Nasdaq Global Select Market
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act.
None
(Title of class)
 
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
None
(Title of class)

 Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
 
101,302,404 Common Shares, par $1.00, per share
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes
X
No
 

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 of 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act 1934.
Yes
 
No
X
 
Note- Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes
X
No
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes
X
No
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of "accelerated filer and large accelerated filer" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one).
Large accelerated filer
X
Accelerated filer
 
Non-accelerated filer
 
 Emerging growth company
 

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.     
 
 





† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
 
U.S. GAAP
X
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International      Accounting
Standards Board
 
 
 
 
Other
 


If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17
 
Item 18
 
 
 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes
 
 
No
X
 

(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.
Yes
 
No
 







INDEX TO REPORT ON FORM 20-F

PART I
 
PAGE
 
 
 
ITEM 1.
 
 
 
ITEM 2.
 
 
 
ITEM 3.
 
 
 
ITEM 4.
 
 
 
ITEM 4A.
 
 
 
ITEM 5.
 
 
 
ITEM 6.
 
 
 
ITEM 7.
 
 
 
ITEM 8.
 
 
 
ITEM 9.
 
 
 
ITEM 10.
 
 
 
ITEM 11.
 
 
 
ITEM 12.
 
 
 
PART II
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 13.
 
 
 
ITEM 14.
 
 
 
ITEM 15.
 
 
 
ITEM 16A.
 
 
 
ITEM 16B.
 
 
 
ITEM 16C.
 
 
 
ITEM 16D.
 
 
 
ITEM 16E.
 
 
 
ITEM 16F.
 
 
 
ITEM 16G.
 
 
 
ITEM 16H.
 
 
 
PART III
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 17.
 
 
 
ITEM 18.
 
 
 
ITEM 19.
 
 
 





CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Matters discussed in this report may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

We desire to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. This report and any other written or oral statements made by us or on our behalf may include forward-looking statements, which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. When used in this report, the words "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "will," "may," "should," "expect" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this report are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements.

In addition to these important factors and matters discussed elsewhere herein, important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include among other things:

our inability and that of our counterparty to meet our respective obligations under the Lease and Operate Agreement entered into in connection with the BP Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project;
changes in liquefied natural gas, or LNG, carrier, floating storage and regasification unit, or FSRU, or floating liquefaction natural gas vessel, or FLNG, or small-scale LNG market trends, including charter rates, vessel values or technological advancements;
Golar Power Limited's ("Golar Power") ability to successfully complete and start up the Sergipe power station project and related FSRU contract;
changes in our ability to retrofit vessels as FSRUs or FLNGs and in our ability to obtain financing for such conversions on acceptable terms or at all;
our ability to close potential future sales of additional equity interests in Golar Hilli LLC on a timely basis or at all;
changes in the supply of or demand for LNG carriers, FSRUs, FLNGs or small-scale LNG infrastructure;
a material decline or prolonged weakness in rates for LNG carriers, FSRUs, FLNGs or small-scale LNG infrastructure;
changes in the performance of the pool in which certain of our vessels operate and the performance of our joint ventures, including changes related to potential divestitures, spin-offs or new partnerships;
changes in trading patterns that affect the opportunities for the profitable operation of LNG carriers, FSRUs, FLNGs or small-scale LNG infrastructure;
changes in the supply of or demand for LNG or LNG carried by sea;
changes in commodity prices;
changes in the supply of or demand for natural gas generally or in particular regions;
failure of our contract counterparties, including our joint venture co-owners, to comply with their agreements with us;
changes in our relationships with our counterparties, including our major chartering parties;
challenges by authorities to the tax benefits we previously obtained under certain of our leasing agreements;
a decline or continuing weakness in the global financial markets;
changes in general domestic and international political conditions, particularly where we operate;
changes in the availability of vessels to purchase and in the time it takes to construct new vessels;
failures of shipyards to comply with delivery schedules or performance specifications on a timely basis or at all;
our ability to integrate and realize the benefits of our investments and acquisitions;
changes in our ability to sell vessels to Golar LNG Partners LP ("Golar Partners") or Golar Power;
changes in our relationship with Golar Partners, Golar Power or Avenir LNG Limited ("Avenir") and the sustainability of any distributions they may pay to us;
changes to rules and regulations applicable to LNG carriers, FSRUs, FLNGs or other parts of the LNG supply chain;
actions taken by regulatory authorities that may prohibit the access of LNG carriers, FSRUs, FLNGs or small-scale LNG vessels to various ports;
changes in our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms or at all;
increases in costs, including, among other things, crew wages, insurance, provisions, repairs and maintenance; and




other factors listed from time to time in registration statements, reports or other materials that we have filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Commission.

Please see our Risk Factors in Item 3 of this report for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.

We caution readers of this report not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of our future performance, and actual results and future developments may vary materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, except as required by law. If one or more forward-looking statements are updated, no inference should be drawn that additional updates will be made.





PART I

ITEM 1.  IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORS

Not applicable.

ITEM 2.  OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

Not applicable.

ITEM 3.  KEY INFORMATION

Throughout this report, unless the context indicates otherwise, the "Company," "Golar," "Golar LNG," "we," "us," and "our" all refer to Golar LNG Limited or any one or more of its consolidated subsidiaries, including Golar Management Limited, or Golar Management, or to all such entities. References in this Annual Report to "Golar Partners" or the "Partnership" refer, depending on the context, to our affiliate Golar LNG Partners LP (Nasdaq: GMLP) and to any one or more of its subsidiaries. References to "Golar Power" refer to our affiliate Golar Power Limited and to any one or more of its subsidiaries. References to "OneLNG" refer to our joint venture OneLNG S.A. and to any one or more of its subsidiaries. References to "Avenir" refer to our affiliate Avenir LNG Limited (Norwegian OTC: AVENIR) and to any one or more of its subsidiaries. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to "USD" and "$" in this report are to U.S. dollars.

A.      Selected Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial and other data, which includes our fleet and other operating data, summarizes our historical consolidated financial information. We derived the statements of income (loss) data for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2018 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 from our audited consolidated financial statements included in Item 18 of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, which were prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, or U.S. GAAP.

The selected statements of income (loss) data with respect to the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 and the selected balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP not included herein.


1



The following table should also be read in conjunction with the section of this Annual Report entitled "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" and our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included herein.

 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
 
(in thousands of U.S. $, except number of shares, per common share data, fleet data and other financial data)
Statements of Income Data:
 
 
 
 
 
Total operating revenues
430,604

143,537

80,257

102,674

106,155

Vessel operating expenses
96,860

55,946

53,163

56,347

49,570

Voyage, charterhire and commission expenses (including collaborative arrangement)
105,826

61,292

47,563

69,042

27,340

Total operating expenses
369,607

244,094

221,364

234,604

146,488

Operating income (loss)
114,486

(85,457
)
(141,091
)
(36,380
)
(2,116
)
Net financial expense
(123,797
)
(32,788
)
(59,541
)
(174,619
)
(87,852
)
Equity in net (losses) earnings of affiliates
(157,636
)
(25,448
)
47,878

55,985

42,220

Net loss attributable to the stockholders of Golar LNG Limited
(231,428
)
(179,703
)
(186,531
)
(171,146
)
(48,017
)
Loss per common share
 
 
 
 
 
- basic (1)
(2.30
)
(1.79
)
(1.99
)
(1.83
)
(0.55
)
- diluted (1)
(2.30
)
(1.79
)
(1.99
)
(1.83
)
(0.55
)
Cash dividends declared and paid per common share
0.28

0.20

0.60

1.35

1.80

 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance Sheet Data (as of end of year):
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
217,835

214,862

224,190

105,235

191,410

Restricted cash and short-term deposits (2)
332,033

222,265

183,693

231,821

74,162

Non-current restricted cash (2)
154,393

175,550

232,335

180,361

425

Investments in affiliates
571,782

703,225

648,780

541,565

746,263

Asset under development
20,000

1,177,489

731,993

501,022

345,205

Vessels and equipment, net
3,271,379

2,077,059

2,153,831

2,598,771

1,648,888

Total assets
4,806,595

4,764,287

4,256,911

4,269,198

3,899,742

Current portion of long-term debt and short-term debt
730,257

1,384,933

451,454

693,123

112,853

Long-term debt
1,835,102

1,025,914

1,525,744

1,342,084

1,241,133

Total equity
1,825,791

1,796,304

1,909,826

1,916,179

2,237,422

Common shares outstanding  (1) (in thousands)
101,303

101,119

101,081

93,547

93,415

Cash Flow Data:
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities
116,674

(35,089
)
(115,387
)
(92,458
)
4,922

Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities
(202,492
)
(419,895
)
3,852

(202,893
)
(1,361,275
)
Net cash provided by financing activities
177,402

427,443

234,336

546,770

1,470,460

Fleet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
Number of vessels at end of year
14

14

14

17

13

Total operating days for fleet (3)
4,202

3,885

4,034

4,481

2,059

Other Financial Data:
 
 
 
 
 
Average daily time charter equivalent earnings, or TCE (4)  (to the closest $100)
$
43,700

$
17,500

$
10,100

$
14,900

$
33,100

Average daily vessel operating costs (5)
$
18,955

$
11,374

$
10,359

$
11,783

$
23,240

Footnotes

(1) Basic loss per share is calculated based on the income available to common shareholders and the weighted average number of our common shares outstanding. Treasury shares are not included in this calculation. The calculation of diluted loss per share assumes the conversion of potentially dilutive instruments.

2




(2) Restricted cash consists of bank deposits, which may only be used to settle certain pre-arranged loans or lease payments or deposits made in accordance with our contractual obligations under our equity swap facilities, letter of credit facilities in connection with our tolling agreement, and bid or performance bonds for projects we may enter. Short-term deposits represents highly liquid deposits placed with financial institutions, primarily from our consolidated VIEs, which are readily convertible into known amounts of cash with original maturities of less than 12 months.

(3) The total operating days for our fleet is the total number of days in a given period that our vessels were in our possession less the total number of days off-hire. We define days off-hire as days lost to, among other things, operational deficiencies, drydocking for repairs, maintenance or inspection, scheduled lay-up, vessel conversions, equipment breakdowns, special surveys and vessel upgrades, delays due to accidents, crewing strikes, certain vessel detentions or similar problems, or our failure to maintain the vessel in compliance with its specifications and contractual standards or to provide the required crew, or periods of commercial waiting time during which we do not earn charter hire.

(4) Non-U.S. GAAP Financial Measure : The average TCE rate of our fleet is a measure of the average daily revenue performance of a vessel. TCE is calculated only in relation to our vessel operations segment. For time charters, TCE is calculated by dividing total operating revenues (including revenue from the Cool Pool, but excluding liquefaction services revenue and vessel and other management fees), less any voyage and commission expenses, by the number of calendar days minus days for scheduled off-hire. Under a time charter, the charterer pays substantially all of the vessel voyage related expenses. However, we may incur voyage related expenses when positioning or repositioning vessels before or after the period of a time charter, during periods of commercial waiting time or while off-hire during drydocking. TCE rate is a standard shipping industry performance measure used primarily to compare period-to-period changes in an entity's performance despite changes in the mix of charter types (i.e. spot charters, time charters and bareboat charters) under which the vessels may be employed between the periods. We include average daily TCE, a non-U.S. GAAP measure, as we believe it provides additional meaningful information in conjunction with total operating revenues, the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measure, because it assists our management in making decisions regarding the deployment and use of its vessels and in evaluating their financial performance. Our calculation of TCE may not be comparable to that reported by other entities. The following table reconciles our total operating revenues to average daily TCE: 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

 
 
(in thousands of U.S. $, except number of shares, per common share data, fleet and other financial data)
 
Total operating revenues
430,604

143,537

80,257

102,674

106,155

 
Less: Liquefaction services revenue
(127,625
)




 
Less: Vessel and other management fees
(24,209
)
(26,576
)
(14,225
)
(12,547
)
(10,756
)
 
Net time and voyage charter revenues
278,770

116,961

66,032

90,127

95,399

 
Voyage and commission expenses (i)
(104,463
)
(48,933
)
(25,291
)
(23,434
)
(27,340
)
 
 
174,307

68,028

40,741

66,693

68,059

 
Calendar days less scheduled off-hire days (ii)
3,987

3,885

4,034

4,481

2,059

 
Average daily TCE rate (to the closest $100)
43,700

17,500

10,100

14,900

33,100

 
(i) "Voyage and commission expenses" is derived from the caption "Voyage, charterhire and commission expenses" and "Voyage, charterhire and commission expenses - collaborative arrangement" less (i) charterhire expenses (net of the effect of the related guarantee obligation) of $nil, $12.4 million and $22.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2018 , 2017 and 2016 , respectively, which arose on the charter-back of the Golar Grand from Golar Partners, and (ii) voyage and commission expenses in relation to the Hilli Episeyo of $1.4 million, $nil and $nil for the years ended December 31, 2018 , 2017 and 2016 , respectively.

(ii) This excludes days when vessels are in lay-up, undergoing dry dock or undergoing conversion.
 
(5) We calculate average daily vessel operating costs by dividing vessel operating costs by the number of calendar days. Calendar days exclude those from vessels chartered in where the vessel operating costs are borne by the legal owner, and those of vessels undergoing conversion.

B.           Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.


3



C.            Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

D.            Risk Factors
    
The following risks relate principally to our business or to the industry in which we operate. Other risks relate principally to the securities market and ownership of our common shares. Any of these risks, or any additional risks not presently known to us or risks that we currently deem immaterial, could significantly and adversely affect our business, our financial condition, our operating results and the trading price of our common shares. We have categorized the risks we face based on whether they arise from our business activities or from the industry in which we operate and listed these based on management’s assessment of priority. Where relevant, we have grouped together related risks.

Risks arising from our Business Activities

Risks Related to Future FLNG projects

We cannot guarantee that our agreement with BP will progress favorably.

In February 2019, we entered into a 20-year Lease and Operate Agreement with BP Mauritania Investments Ltd (“BP”) for the charter of the FLNG unit, the Gimi , to service the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim field. The Gimi’s conversion to a FLNG is expected to commence in April 2019 and the Gimi is expected to commence operations under the Lease and Operate Agreement in 2022. The estimated cost of Gimi’s conversion is $1.3 billion, which we plan to fund through multiple financing facilities, including a $700 million long term financing facility that is currently in its final stages and that we plan to have available to us during construction. Once the Gimi is accepted under the contract, we anticipate annual contracted revenues less forecasted operating costs of approximately $215 million per year.

There can be no guarantee that the Lease and Operate Agreement will progress favorably or last for the anticipated term. In addition to containing conditions precedent that could prevent performance of the contract altogether, the Lease and Operate Agreement provides both parties with the right to suspend or terminate the agreement under certain circumstances after performance has begun. Should we be unable to meet our obligations under the Lease and Operate Agreement in a manner that gives rise to a right to terminate the agreement by BP, we could be obligated to pay substantial damages to BP which would have a negative impact on our earnings and cash flow and could make it difficult to induce counterparties to contract with us for FLNG conversions in the future.

If there is a delay or default by a shipyard or if a shipyard does not meet certain performance requirements, our earnings and financial condition could suffer.

We have entered into an agreement with Keppel Shipyard Limited, or Keppel, and Black & Veatch Corporation, or Black & Veatch, for the conversion of the Gimi into a FLNG. We have also entered into an agreement for the conversion of the Gandria  into a FLNG. See "Item 4. Information on the Company".

In the event the shipyards do not perform under these agreements and we are unable to enforce certain refund guarantees with third party banks for any reason, in connection with the conversions of the Gimi or the Gandria , we may lose part or all of our investment, which would have a material adverse effect on our results for operations, financial condition and cash flows.

In addition, the conversions are subject to the risk of delay or default by the shipyards caused by, among other things, unforeseen quality or engineering problems, work stoppages or other labor disturbances at the shipyards, bankruptcy of or other financial crises involving the shipyards, weather interference, unanticipated cost increases, delays in receipt of necessary equipment, political, social or economic disturbances, inability to finance the construction of the vessel and inability to obtain the requisite permits or approvals. In accordance with industry practice, in the event the shipyards are unable or unwilling to deliver the vessel, we may not have substantial remedies. Failure to convert, construct or deliver the vessels by the shipyards or any significant delays could increase our expenses and diminish our net income and cash flows.

Due to the new and sophisticated nature of FLNG conversions, we are reliant on a small number of contractors with relevant experience.


4



The highly technical work related to FLNG conversions is only capable of being performed by a limited number of contractors, and due to the new nature of the technology only a very limited number of contractors have relevant experience with FLNG conversions. Accordingly, a change of contractors for any reason would likely result in higher costs and a significant delay to our delivery schedules. In addition, given the novelty of our FLNG conversion projects, the completion of retrofitting our vessels as FLNG vessels could be subject to risks of significant cost overruns. If the shipyard is unable to deliver any converted FLNG vessel on time, we might be unable to perform related charters. Any substantial delay in the conversion of any of our vessels into FLNG vessels could mean we will not be able to satisfy potential employment of the FLNG vessels.

Furthermore, if any future FLNG vessels, once converted, are not able to meet certain performance requirements or perform as intended, we may have to accept reduced charter rates. Alternatively, it may not be possible to charter the converted FLNG vessel at all. Either of these possibilities would have a negative impact, which could be significant, on our cash flows and earnings.

Due to the locations in which we operate, a number of our current and potential future projects are subject to higher political and security risks than operations in other areas of the world.

We operate in, or are pursuing projects which could lead to future operations in, areas of the world where there are heightened political and security risks. We identify higher risk countries in which we operate through our experiences, the experiences of our partners and publicly available third party information such as Transparency International, the World Bank and TRACE International, and monitor the specific risks associated with countries in which we operate.

In particular, the operations of Golar Hilli Corp ("Hilli Corp") in Cameroon under the Liquefication Tolling Agreement (“LTA") is subject to higher political and security risks than operations in other areas of the world. Recently, Cameroon has experienced instability in its socio-political environment. Any extreme levels of political instability resulting in changes of governments, internal conflict, unrest and violence, especially from terrorist organizations prevalent in the region, such as Boko Haram, could lead to economic disruptions and shutdowns in industrial activities. In addition, corruption and bribery are a serious concern in the region. The FLNG operations of Hilli Corp in Cameroon will be subject to these risks, which could materially adversely affect our revenues, our ability to perform under the LTA and our financial condition.

In addition, Hilli Corp will maintain insurance coverage for only a portion of the risks incidental to doing business in Cameroon. There also may be certain risks covered by insurance where the policy does not reimburse Hilli Corp for all of the costs related to a loss. For example, any claims covered by insurance will be subject to deductibles, which may be significant. In the event that Hilli Corp incurs business interruption losses with respect to one or more incidents, they could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Risks Related to Hilli Episeyo

Golar Hilli LLC may not result in anticipated profitability or generate cash flow sufficient to justify our investment. In addition, our investment exposes us to risks that may harm our business, financial condition and operating results.

In July 2018, we, Keppel and Black & Veatch completed a sale of 50% of the common units in Golar Hilli LLC ("Hilli LLC"), the disponent owner of the FLNG Hilli Episeyo , to Golar Partners. However, we still hold a significant portion of the outstanding ownership interests in Hilli LLC. The retained interests expose us to risks that we may:

fail to obtain the benefits of the LTA if Perenco Cameroon S.A. ("Perenco") and Société Nationale de Hydrocarbures (‘‘SNH’’) (together the "Customer") exercises certain rights to terminate the charter upon the occurrence of specified events of default; 
fail to obtain the benefits of the LTA if the Customer fails to make payments under the LTA because of its financial inability, disagreements with us or otherwise; 
incur or assume unanticipated liabilities, losses or costs; 
be required to pay damages to the Customer or suffer a reduction in the tolling fee in the event that the Hilli Episeyo fails to perform to certain specifications;
incur other significant charges, such as asset devaluation or restructuring charges; or
be unable to re-charter the FLNG on another long-term charter at the end of the LTA.


5



Utilization of the full capacity of Hilli Episeyo

The FLNG Hilli Episeyo commenced commercial operations in June 2018, when under the terms of the LTA by and between Perenco and SNH.

The LTA commits the capacity of two of the four liquefaction trains (Train 1 and Train 2) of the Hilli Episeyo . The remaining half of the Hilli Episeyo’s capacity is not yet contracted. This allows for significant upside in relation to revenues from the Hilli Episeyo however delays in contracting Train 3 and Train 4 capacity could adversely affect our financial performance. Factors which could cause delays in contracting the full capacity include delays in negotiations with potential counterparties, and also include factors outside of our control such as the growth of LNG demand and the price of LNG, affecting when counterparties seek to bring additional production to the market.

Due to the new and sophisticated technology utilized by the Hilli Episeyo, the operations of the Hilli Episeyo are subject to risks that could negatively affect our business and financial condition.

FLNG vessels are complex and their operations are technically challenging and subject to mechanical risks and problems. Unforeseen operational problems with the Hilli Episeyo may lead to Hilli LLC experiencing a loss of revenue or higher than anticipated operating expenses or require additional capital expenditures. Any of these results could harm our business, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions to our unitholders.

If the letter of credit is not extended, the earnings and financial condition of Hilli Corp could suffer.

Pursuant to the terms of the LTA, Golar obtained a letter of credit issued by a financial institution that guarantees certain payments Hilli Corp is required to make under the LTA. The letter of credit was set to expire on December 31, 2018, but it automatically extends for successive one year periods until the tenth anniversary of the acceptance of the Hilli Episeyo to perform the agreed services for the project, unless the financial institution elects to not extend the letter of credit. The financial institution may elect to not extend the letter of credit by giving notice at least ninety days prior to the current December 31, 2019 expiration date or December 31 in any subsequent year. If the letter of credit (i) ceases to be in effect or (ii) the financial institution elects to not extend it, unless replacement security for payment is provided within a certain time, then the LTA may be terminated and Hilli Corp may be liable for a termination fee of up to $300 million. Accordingly, if the financial institution elects at some point in the future to not extend the letter of credit, Hilli Corp's financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.
Risks Related to other projects

We cannot guarantee that the conversion of the Golar Viking and the accompanying agreement with LNG Hrvatska will progress favorably.

We have entered into an agreement with a Croatian project developer, LNG Hrvatska d.o.o., or LNG Hrvatska, to convert the Golar Viking , built in 2005, into a FSRU, sell the converted vessel, and then operate and maintain the FSRU for a minimum of ten years. The conversion will be funded by stage payments from LNG Hrvatska under the agreement. Commencement of the project is subject to certain conditions precedent, including confirmation of project funding, receipt of a Notice to Proceed from LNG Hrvatska and our ability to enter into refinancing on favorable terms for the vessel.

We cannot guarantee that this agreement will progress favorably or that the relevant conditions precedent will be satisfied. Some of the possible risks relating to this transaction include the inability of our counterparties to perform under the agreement, our inability to obtain the necessary refinancing on favorable terms or at all, our inability to deliver the converted vessel in a condition satisfactory to LNG Hrvatska and delays in the conversion of the Golar Viking . Should we be unable to meet our obligations under the agreement, we could be obligated to pay damages to LNG Hrvatska which could have a negative impact on our earnings and cash flow and could make it difficult to induce counterparties to contract with us for FSRU conversions in the future.

Risks associated with our investments in Joint Ventures and Affiliates

We have a substantial equity investment in our former subsidiary, Golar Partners, which since December 13, 2012, is no longer consolidated with our financial results, and our investment is subject to the risks related to Golar Partners’ business.

As of December 31, 2018, we had an ownership interest of 32.0% (including our 2% general partner interest) in Golar Partners (in addition to 100% of the incentive distribution rights, or IDRs), which we account for under the equity method of accounting.

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The aggregate carrying value of our investments in Golar Partners as of December 31, 2018 was $271.2 million, which represents our total interests in the common and general partner units and the IDRs. The common units of Golar Partners are listed on the NASDAQ Global Market, which as of December 31, 2018, had a quoted unit price of $10.80. The estimated fair value of our investments in Golar Partners is calculated with reference to the quoted price of the common units, with adjustments made to reflect the different rights associated with each class of investment. Due to continued decline in the share price, we have impaired the value of our investment as at December 31, 2018, which had a material adverse non-cash impact on our results of operations. Future impairment charges may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations in the period that the impairment charges are recognized.

In addition to the value of our investment, we receive cash distributions from Golar Partners, which amounted to $48.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. Furthermore, we receive management fee income from the provision of services to Golar Partners under each of the management and administrative services agreement and the fleet management agreements, which amounted to $15.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

The value of our investment, the income generated from our investment and the management fee income is subject to a variety of risks, including the risks related to Golar Partners’ business as disclosed in its respective public filings with the SEC. The occurrence of any such risks may negatively affect our financial condition. As of March 15, 2019 Golar Partners had a fleet of 10 vessels, six of which currently operate under medium to long-term charters with a concentrated number of charterers, and an interest in the FLNG Hilli Episeyo which we manage under the management agreements referred to above. Accordingly, a significant risk to Golar Partners is the loss of any of these customers, charters or vessels, including re-chartering its three vessels recently coming off charter, or under certain operational circumstances, a decline in payments under any of the charters, which could have a material adverse effect on its business and its ability to make cash distributions to its unitholders if the vessel was not re-chartered to another customer for an extended period of time.

A decline in the market value of Golar Partners’ common unit price could result in breaches of our Margin Loan Facility.

During July 2018, amendments to the existing margin loan facility, secured by units in Golar Partners, were completed. Although most of the existing terms remain substantially unchanged, the facility will no longer amortize. Previously the dividend cash received from the pledged Partnership units was first used to service the interest on the loan, any excess cash was then used to prepay a portion of the principal. Under the modified agreement, any excess cash after servicing the interest will be returned to us. If certain covenants are breached, we may be required to make further principal repayments ahead of loan maturity in March 2020, which would reduce our available cash flow.
We have a substantial equity investment in Golar Power that is subject to the risks related to Golar Power’s business.

We have a substantial equity investment in Golar Power. In addition to the value of our investment, we expect to receive cash distributions from Golar Power and management fee income from the provision of services to Golar Power under a management and administrative services agreement for the vessels in Golar Power’s fleet. The value of our investment, the income generated from our investment and the management fee income are subject to a variety of risks, including the risks related to Golar Power’s business. In turn, Golar Power’s business is subject to a variety of risks, including, among others, any inability of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners ("Stonepeak") and us to successfully work together in the shared management of Golar Power, any inability of Golar Power to identify and enter into appropriate projects, any inability of Golar Power to obtain sufficient financing for any project it identifies, any failure of upstream and downstream LNG producing projects connected with Golar Power’s activities, and other industry, regulatory, economic and political risks similar in nature to the risks faced by us.

Golar Power has a 50% interest in a Brazilian corporation, Centrais Eléctricas de Sergipe S.A. ("CELSE"), that was formed for the purpose of constructing and operating a power plant in the State of Sergipe in Brazil, which we refer to as the Sergipe Project. The Sergipe Project is subject to a variety of risks including General Electric’s completion of the Sergipe Project in accordance with the terms of the related EPC contract. Additionally, constructing and operating a power plant is subject to certain risks that include unscheduled plant outages, equipment failure, labor disputes, disruptions in fuel supply, inability to comply with regulatory or permit requirements, natural disasters or terrorist acts, cyber-attacks or other similar occurrences, and inherent risks which may occur as a result of inadequate internal processes, technological flaws, human error or actions of third parties or other external events. The control and management of these risks depend upon adequate development and training of personnel and on the existence of operational procedures, preventative maintenance plans and specific programs supported by quality control systems which reduce, but do not eliminate, the possibility of the occurrence and impact of these risks. The hazards described above, along with other safety hazards associated with our operations, can cause significant personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property, plant and equipment, contamination of, or damage to, the environment and suspension of operations. The occurrence of any one of these events may result in Golar Power,

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through its ownership interest in CELSE, being named as a defendant in lawsuits asserting claims for substantial damages, environmental cleanup costs, personal injury and fines and/or penalties.

Also, exchange rate fluctuations between the U.S. Dollar and the Brazilian Real could have an adverse impact on the results of operations of Golar Power with respect to its investments in Brazil, including its investments in the Sergipe Project through CELSE. The principal currency for revenue and operating expenses is Brazilian Real for CELSE. This exposure to foreign currency could lead to fluctuations in Golar Power’s net income and net revenue due to changes in the value of the U.S. Dollar relative to the Brazilian Real.

We have an equity investment in Avenir that is subject to the risks related to Avenir’s business.

In October 2018, we invested $24.8 million in Avenir LNG Ltd, a joint venture with Stolt-Nielsen Ltd ("Stolt Nielsen") (an entity affiliated with our director Niels Stolt Nielsen) and Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd ("Höegh"), as part of a combined $182 million commitment for the pursuit of opportunities in small-scale LNG. The value of our investment and the income generated from our investment are subject to a variety of risks, including the risks related to Avenir’s business. In turn, Avenir’s business is subject to a variety of risks, including, among others, any inability of the joint venture partners to successfully work together in the shared management of Avenir, any inability of Avenir to identify and enter into appropriate projects, any inability of Avenir to obtain sufficient financing for any project it identifies, any failure of small-scale LNG projects Avenir has invested in, and other industry, regulatory, economic and political risks similar in nature to the risks faced by us.

We may guarantee the indebtedness of our joint ventures and/or affiliates.

We may provide guarantees to certain banks with respect to commercial bank indebtedness of our joint ventures and/or affiliates. Failure by any of our joint ventures and/or affiliate to service their debt requirements and comply with any provisions contained in their commercial loan agreements, including paying scheduled instalments and complying with certain covenants, may lead to an event of default under the related loan agreement. As a result, if our joint ventures and/or affiliates are unable to obtain a waiver or do not have enough cash on hand to repay the outstanding borrowings, the relevant lenders may foreclose their liens on the vessels securing the loans or seek repayment of the loan from us, or both. Either of these possibilities could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further, by virtue of our guarantees with respect to our joint ventures and/or affiliates, this may reduce our ability to gain future credit from certain lenders.

Golar Partners and its affiliates may compete with us.

In connection with the IPO of Golar Partners, we entered into an Omnibus Agreement with Golar Partners governing, among other things, when we and Golar Partners may compete against each other as well as rights of first offer on certain FSRUs and LNG carriers. Under the Omnibus Agreement, Golar Partners and its subsidiaries agreed to grant a right of first offer on any proposed sale, transfer or other disposition of any vessel it may own. Likewise, we agreed to grant a similar right of first offer to Golar Partners for any vessel under a charter for five or more years that we may own. These rights of first offer will not apply to a (a) sale, transfer or other disposition of vessels between any affiliated subsidiaries, or pursuant to the terms of any current or future charter or other agreement with a charter party or (b) merger with or into, or sale of substantially all of the assets to, an unaffiliated third-party. In addition, the Omnibus Agreement provides for certain indemnities to Golar Partners in connection with the assets transferred from us.

Risks Related to the Financing of our Business

Our business is capital intensive, and therefore we are exposed to several key financing risks, relating both to our ability to secure sufficient financing to meet existing obligations and future projects and also the impact financing terms and covenants could have on our business.

We may not be able to obtain financing, to meet our obligations as they fall due or to fund our growth or our future capital expenditures, which could negatively impact our results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

In order to fund future FLNG vessel and FSRU retrofitting projects, liquefaction projects, newbuilding programs, vessel acquisitions, increased working capital levels or other capital expenditures, we may be required to use cash from operations, incur additional borrowings, raise capital through the sale of debt or additional equity securities or complete sales of our interests in our vessel owning subsidiaries operating under long-term charters to Golar Partners. Our ability to do so may be limited by our financial condition at the time of such financing or offering, as well as by adverse market conditions resulting from, among other things, general economic conditions and contingencies and uncertainties that are beyond our control. In addition, our use of cash from operations may reduce the amount of cash available for dividend distributions. Our failure to

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obtain funds for future capital expenditures could impact our results of operations, financial condition and our ability to pay dividends. Furthermore, our ability to access capital, overall economic conditions and our ability to secure charters on a timely basis could limit our ability to fund our growth and capital expenditures. If we are successful in issuing equity in order to raise capital, the issuance of additional equity securities would dilute your equity interest in us and reduce any pro rata dividend payments without a commensurate increase in cash allocated to dividends, if any. Even if we are successful in obtaining bank financing, paying debt service would limit cash available for working capital and increasing our indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

A pre-condition of the Golar Tundra lease financing with CMBL of $140.1million, which is secured on the vessel, is for the FSRU to be employed under an effective charter. Under the terms of our sale and lease back facility for the Golar Tundra , by virtue of our prior termination of the WAGL charter, we are required to find a replacement charter by June 30, 2019, or we could be required to refinance the FSRU. We are currently exploring our refinancing options, including extension of the lenders’ deadline for satisfaction of such. While we believe we will be able to refinance or extend the lenders' deadline, failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends. However, included within our debt obligation is an amount of $121.7 million relating to the Golar Tundra VIE's loan, which we are required to consolidate into our financial results.

We are exposed to volatility in the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), and the derivative contracts we have entered into to hedge our exposure to fluctuations in interest rates could result in higher than market interest rates and charges against our income.

LIBOR has historically been volatile, with the spread between LIBOR and the prime lending rate widening significantly at times. These conditions are the result of the disruptions in the international credit markets. Because the interest rates borne by our outstanding indebtedness fluctuate with changes in LIBOR, if this volatility were to occur, it would affect the amount of interest payable on our debt, which in turn, could have an adverse effect on our profitability, earnings and cash flow.

Furthermore, interest in most financing agreements in our industry has been based on published LIBOR rates. Recently, however, there is uncertainty relating to the LIBOR calculation process, which may result in the phasing out of LIBOR in the future. As a result, lenders have insisted on provisions that entitle the lenders, in their discretion, to replace published LIBOR as the base for the interest calculation with their cost-of-funds rate. If we are required to agree to such a provision in future financing agreements, our lending costs could increase significantly, which would have an adverse effect on our profitability, earnings and cash flow.

As of December 31, 2018, we had total outstanding debt of $2.6 billion, of which $0.8 billion was exposed to a floating interest rate based on LIBOR, which has been volatile recently and could affect the amount of interest payable on our debt. In order to manage our exposure to interest rate fluctuations, we use interest rate swaps to effectively fix a part of our floating rate debt obligations. As of December 31, 2018, we have interest rate swaps with a notional amount of $950 million representing 125.8% of our total floating rate debt. While we are economically hedged, we do not apply hedge accounting and therefore interest rate swaps mark-to-market valuations may adversely affect our results. Entering into swaps and derivative transactions is inherently risky and presents various possibilities for incurring significant expenses. The derivative strategies that we employ currently and in the future may not be successful or effective, and we could, as a result, incur substantial additional interest costs or losses.
    
In the future, our financial condition could be materially adversely affected to the extent we do not hedge our exposure to interest rate fluctuations under loans that have been advanced at a floating rate. Any hedging activities we engage in may not effectively manage our interest rate exposure or have the desired impact on our financial conditions or results of operations.

Reforms, including the potential phasing out of LIBOR after 2021, may adversely affect us.

We have floating rate debt, the interest rate of which is determined based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (‘‘LIBOR’’). LIBOR and other ‘‘benchmark’’ rates are subject to ongoing national and international regulatory scrutiny and reform. For example, on July 27, 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority announced that it will no longer persuade or compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of the LIBOR rates after 2021 (the ‘‘FCA Announcement’’). The Alternative Reference Rate Committee, a committee convened by the Federal Reserve that includes major market participants, has proposed an alternative rate to replace U.S. Dollar LIBOR: the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or “SOFR.”

We are unable to predict the effect of the FCA Announcement or other reforms, whether currently enacted or enacted in the future. They may result in the phasing out of LIBOR as a reference rate. The impact of such transition away from LIBOR could be significant for us because of the number of our financing arrangements that are linked to LIBOR and our substantial

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indebtedness. The outcome of reforms may result in increased interest expense to us, may affect our ability to incur debt on terms acceptable to us and may result in increased costs related to amending our existing debt instruments, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Servicing our debt agreements substantially limits our funds available for other purposes and our operational flexibility.

A large portion of our cash flow from operations is used to repay the principal and interest on our debt agreements. As of December 31, 2018, our net indebtedness (including loan debt, net of restricted cash and short-term deposits and net of cash and cash equivalents) was $1.9 billion and our ratio of net indebtedness to total capital (comprising net indebtedness plus shareholders' equity) was 0.52.

Our consolidated debt could increase substantially. We will likely continue to have the ability to incur additional debt. Our level of debt could have important consequences to us, including:

Our ability to obtain additional financing, if necessary, for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other purposes may be impaired or such financing may not be available on favorable terms;
We will need a substantial portion of our cash flow to make principal and interest payments on our debt, reducing the funds that would otherwise be available for operations, future business opportunities and dividends to stockholders;
We may be more vulnerable to competitive pressures or a downturn in our industry or the economy in general as compared to our competitors with less debt; and;
Our flexibility in obtaining additional financing, pursuing other business opportunities and responding to changing business and economic conditions may be limited.

Our ability to service our indebtedness will depend upon, among other things, our future financial and operating performance, which will be affected by prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, regulatory and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, as well as the interest rates applicable to our outstanding indebtedness. If our operating income is not sufficient to service our indebtedness, we will be forced to take actions, such as reducing or delaying our business activities, acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing our debt or seeking additional equity capital. We may not be able to effect any of these remedies on satisfactory terms, or at all. In addition, a lack of liquidity in the debt and equity markets could hinder our ability to refinance our debt or obtain additional financing on favorable terms in the future.

Our consolidated lessor variable interest entities (“VIEs”), may enter into different financing arrangements, which could affect our financial results.

By virtue of the sale and leaseback transactions we have entered into with certain affiliates of Chinese financial institutions that are determined to be lessor VIEs, where we are deemed to be the primary beneficiary, we are required by United States generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") to consolidate these lessor VIEs into our financial results. Although consolidated into our results, we have no control over the funding arrangements negotiated by these lessor VIEs such as interest rates, maturity and repayment profiles. In consolidating these lessor VIEs into our financial results, we must make assumptions regarding the debt amortization profile and the interest rate to be applied against the lessor VIEs’ debt principal. Our estimates are therefore dependent upon the timeliness of receipt and accuracy of financial information provided by these lessor VIE entities. For additional detail refer to note 5 "Variable Interest Entities" of our Consolidated Financial Statements included herein. As of December 31, 2018, we consolidated lessor VIEs in connection with the lease financing transactions for eight of our vessels. For descriptions of our current financing arrangements including those of our lessor VIEs, please read "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review-B. Liquidity and Capital Resources-Borrowing Activities." The funding arrangements negotiated by these lessor VIEs could adversely affect our financial accounting results.

Our financing agreements are secured by our vessels and contain operating and financial restrictions and other covenants that may restrict our business, financing activities and ability to make cash distributions to our shareholders. In addition, because of the presence of cross-default provisions in certain of our and Golar Partners’ financing agreements that cover both us and Golar Partners, a default by us or Golar Partners could lead to multiple defaults in our agreements.

Our obligations under our financing arrangements are secured by certain of our vessels and guaranteed by our subsidiaries holding the interests in our vessels. Our loan agreements impose, and future financial obligations may impose, operating and financial restrictions on us. These restrictions may require the consent of our lenders, or may prevent or otherwise limit our ability to, among other things:


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merge into, or consolidate with, any other entity or sell, or otherwise dispose of, all or substantially all of our assets;
make or pay equity distributions;
incur additional indebtedness;
incur or make any capital expenditures;
materially amend, or terminate, any of our current charter contracts or management agreements; or
charter our vessels.

Our loan agreements and lease financing arrangements also require us to maintain specific financial levels and ratios, including minimum amounts of available cash, minimum ratios of current assets to current liabilities (excluding current portion of long-term debt), minimum levels of stockholders’ equity and maximum loan amounts to value. If we were to fail to maintain these levels and ratios without obtaining a waiver of covenant compliance or modification to our covenants, we would be in default of our loans and lease financing agreements, which, unless waived by our lenders, could provide our lenders with the right to require us to increase the minimum value held by us under our equity and liquidity covenants, increase our interest payments, pay down our indebtedness to a level where we are in compliance with our loan covenants, sell vessels in our fleet or reclassify our indebtedness as current liabilities and could allow our lenders to accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose their liens on our vessels, which could result in the loss of our vessels. If our indebtedness is accelerated, we may not be able to refinance our debt or obtain additional financing, which would impair our ability to continue to conduct our business.

Moreover, in connection with any waivers and/or amendments to our loan and lease agreements, our lenders may impose additional operating and financial restrictions on us and/or modify the terms of our existing loan and lease agreements.

Because of the presence of cross-default provisions in certain of our and Golar Partners’ loan and lease agreements that cover both us and Golar Partners, a default by us or Golar Partners under a loan or lease agreement and the refusal of any one lender or lessor to grant or extend a waiver could result in the acceleration of our indebtedness under our other loan and lease agreements even if our or Golar Partners’ other lenders or lessors have waived covenant defaults under the respective agreements. A cross-default provision means that if we or Golar Partners default on one loan or lease, we would then default on our other loans containing a cross-default provision.

We previously entered into six UK tax leases, of which one lease for the Methane Princess remains. In the event of any adverse tax changes or a successful challenge by the UK Revenue authorities, or HMRC, with regard to the initial tax basis of these transactions or in relation to our 2010 lease restructurings, or in the event of an early termination of the Methane Princess lease, we may be required to make additional payments principally to the UK vessel lessor or Golar Partners, which could adversely affect our earnings and financial position.

As described under note 30 of our audited consolidated financial statements filed with our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2018, during 2003 we entered into six UK tax leases. Under the terms of the leasing arrangements, the benefits are derived primarily from the tax depreciation assumed to be available to the lessors as a result of their investment in the vessels. As is typical in these leasing arrangements, as the lessee we are obligated to maintain the lessor’s after-tax margin. Accordingly, in the event of any adverse tax changes or a successful challenge by the UK Tax Authorities (''HMRC'') with regard to the initial tax basis of the transactions, or in relation to the 2010 lease restructurings, or in the event of an early termination of the Methane Princess lease, we may be required to make additional payments principally to the UK vessel lessor, which could adversely affect our earnings or financial position. We would be required to return all, or a portion of, or in certain circumstances significantly more than, the upfront cash benefits that we received in respect of our lease financing transactions, including the 2010 restructurings and subsequent termination transactions. The gross cash benefit we received upfront on these leases amounted to approximately £41 million (before deduction of fees).
Of these six leases we have since terminated five, with one lease remaining, the Methane Princess lease. Pursuant to the deconsolidation of Golar Partners in 2012, Golar Partners is no longer considered a controlled entity, but an affiliate and therefore as at December 31, 2018, the capital lease obligation relating to this remaining UK tax lease is not included on our consolidated balance sheet. However, under the indemnity provisions of the Omnibus Agreement or the respective share purchase agreements, we have agreed to indemnify Golar Partners in the event of any tax liabilities in excess of scheduled or final scheduled amounts arising from the Methane Princess leasing arrangements and termination thereof.
HMRC has been challenging the use of similar lease structures and has been engaged in litigation of a test case for some years. In August 2015, following an appeal to the Court of Appeal by the HMRC which set aside previous judgments in favor of the tax payer, the First Tier Tribunal (a UK court) ruled in favor of HMRC. The tax payer in this particular ruling has the election to appeal the court's decision, but no appeal has been filed. The judgments of the First Tier Tribunal do not create binding precedent for other UK court decisions and therefore the ruling in favor of HMRC is not binding in the context of

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our structures. Further, we consider there to be differences in the fact pattern and structure of this case from our 2003 leasing arrangements and therefore it is not necessarily indicative of any outcome should HMRC challenge us. We remain confident that our fact pattern is sufficiently different to succeed if we are challenged by HMRC. HMRC have written to our lessor to indicate that they believe our lease may be similar to the case noted above. We have reviewed the details of the case and the basis of the judgment with our legal and tax advisers to ascertain what impact, if any, the judgment may have on us and the possible range of exposure has been estimated at approximately £nil to £115 million. We are currently in conversation with HMRC on this matter, as well as continuing to present the factual background of Golar's position, and are progressing the possibility of bringing this inquiry to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Given the complexity of these discussions, it is impossible to quantify the reasonably possible loss, however we continue to estimate the possible range of exposures as set out above.

Exposure to equity price risk in our shares could adversely affect our financial results.

As a result of holding an equity swap, which we refer to as our Total Return Swap, in our own securities, as of March 15, 2019 , we are exposed to the movement in our share price in respect of 3.0 million shares under the equity swap. Should the price of our shares fall materially below the level at which the shares were acquired, the equity swap mark-to-market valuations could adversely affect our results. In addition, the equity swap has a credit arrangement, whereby we are required to provide cash collateral equal to 20% of the initial acquisition price and to subsequently post additional cash collateral that corresponds to any further unrealized loss. As of December 31, 2018, cash collateral of $82.9 million has been provided and is reflected in "restricted cash" in our Consolidated Balance Sheet. In the event the share price declines, the cash collateral requirements could adversely affect our liquidity and financial position.


Risks Related to Revenue
The market for LNG transportation and regasification services is competitive and we, our Joint Ventures and our affiliates may not be able to compete successfully, which would adversely affect our earnings.

The market for LNG transportation and regasification services in which we operate is competitive, especially with respect to the negotiation of long-term charters. Competition arises primarily from other vessel owners, some of whom have substantially greater resources than we do. Furthermore, new competitors with greater resources could enter the market for LNG carriers or FSRUs and operate larger fleets through consolidations, acquisitions or the purchase of new vessels, and may be able to offer lower charter rates and more modern fleets. If we are not able to compete successfully, our earnings could be adversely affected. Competition may also prevent us from achieving our goal of profitably expanding into other areas of the LNG industry.

Our growth depends on our ability to expand relationships with existing customers and obtain new customers, for which we will face substantial competition.

One of our principal objectives is to enter into additional medium or long-term, fixed-rate time charters for our LNG carriers and FSRUs. The process of obtaining new long-term time charters is highly competitive and generally involves an intensive screening process and competitive bids, and often extends for several months. LNG carrier or FSRU time charters are awarded based upon a variety of factors relating to the vessel operator, including but not limited to:

LNG shipping and FSRU experience and quality of ship operations;
shipping industry relationships and reputation for customer service and safety;
technical ability and reputation for operation of highly specialized vessels, including FSRUs;
quality and experience of seafaring crew;
the ability to finance FSRUs and LNG carriers at competitive rates, and financial stability generally;
construction management experience, including, (i) relationships with shipyards and the ability to get suitable berths and (ii) the ability to obtain on-time delivery of new FSRUs and LNG carriers according to customer specifications;
willingness to accept operational risks pursuant to a charter, such as allowing termination of the charter for force majeure events; and
competitiveness of the bid in terms of overall price.

We expect substantial competition for providing floating storage and regasification services and marine transportation services for potential LNG projects from a number of experienced companies, including state-sponsored entities and major energy companies. Many of these competitors have significantly greater financial resources and larger and more versatile fleets than we and the Cool Pool do. We anticipate that an increasing number of marine transportation companies, including many with

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strong reputations and extensive resources and experience, will enter the FSRU market and LNG transportation market. This increased competition may cause greater price competition for time charters. As a result of these factors, we and the Cool Pool may be unable to expand our relationships with existing customers or obtain new customers on a profitable basis, if at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.

We operate the majority of our vessels, through the Cool Pool, in the spot/short-term charter market, which is subject to volatility. Failure by the Cool Pool to find profitable employment for these vessels could adversely affect our operations.

As of March 15, 2019 , we had seven LNG carriers and one FSRU operating in the spot market within the Cool Pool. Please see "Item 4. Information on the Company-B. Business Overview" for further detail. The spot market refers to charters for periods of up to twelve months. Spot/short-term charters expose the Cool Pool to the volatility in spot charter rates, which can be significant. In contrast, medium to long-term time charters generally provide reliable revenues, but they also limit the portion of our fleet available to the spot/short-term market during an upswing in the LNG industry cycle, when spot/short-term market voyages might be more profitable. The charter rates payable in the spot market are uncertain and volatile and will depend upon, among other things, economic conditions in the LNG market.

If the Cool Pool is unable to find profitable employment or re-deploy ours or any of the other Cool Pool participants' vessels, we will not receive any revenues from the Cool Pool, but we may be required to pay expenses necessary to maintain that vessel in proper operating condition. A sustained decline in charter or spot rates or a failure by the Cool Pool to successfully charter its participating vessels could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and our ability to meet our financing obligations.

Risks Related to Our Operations

The operation of FSRUs, FLNGs and LNG carriers is inherently risky, and our vessels face a number of industry risks and events which could cause damage or loss of a vessel, loss of life or environmental consequences that could harm our reputation and ongoing business operations.

Our vessels and their cargoes are at risk of being damaged or lost because of events such as marine disasters, acts of piracy, environmental accidents, bad weather, mechanical failures, grounding, fire, explosions and collisions, human error, national emergency and war and terrorism. Incidents such as these have historically affected companies in our industry, and such an event or accident involving any of our vessels could result in any of the following:
death or injury to persons, loss of property or environmental damage;
delays in the delivery of cargo;
loss of revenues from or termination of charter contracts;
governmental fines, penalties or restrictions on conducting business;
a government requisitioning for title or seizing our vessels (e.g. in a time of war or national emergency)
higher insurance rates; and
damage to our reputation and customer relationships generally.

Any of these circumstances or events could increase our costs or lower our revenues. In particular:
Although we carry insurance, all risks may not be adequately insured against, and any particular claim may not be paid. Any claims covered by insurance would be subject to deductibles, and since it is possible that a large number of claims may be brought, the aggregate amount of these deductibles could be material.
If piracy attacks or military action results in regions in which our vessels are deployed being characterized as “war risk” zones by insurers or the Joint War Committee “war and strikes” listed areas, premiums payable for such coverage could increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain.
Certain of our insurance coverage is maintained through mutual protection and indemnity associations and, as a member of such associations, we may be required to make additional payments over and above budgeted premiums if member claims exceed association reserves.
If our vessels suffer damage, they may need to be repaired. The costs of vessel repairs are unpredictable and can be substantial. We may have to pay repair costs that our insurance policies do not cover. The loss of earnings while these vessels are being repaired, as well as the actual cost of these repairs, would decrease our results of operations.
If one of our vessels were involved in an accident with the potential risk of environmental contamination, the resulting media coverage could have a material adverse effect on our business, our results of operations and cash flows, weaken our financial condition and negatively affect our ability to pay distributions.

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An increase in costs could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.

Our vessel operating expenses and dry-dock capital expenditures depend on a variety of factors, including crew costs, provisions, deck and engine stores and spares, lubricating oil, insurance, maintenance and repairs and shipyard costs, many of which are beyond our control and affect the entire shipping industry. Also, while we do not bear the cost of fuel (bunkers) under our time charters, fuel is a significant, if not the largest, expense in our operations when our vessels are operating under voyage charters, are idle during periods of commercial waiting time or when positioning or repositioning before or after a time charter. The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events outside of our control, including geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regions, regional productions patterns and environmental concerns. Fuel costs may fluctuate significantly, and if costs rise, they could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

A shortage of qualified officers and crew could have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

A material decrease in the supply of technically skilled officers or an inability to attract and retain such qualified officers could impair our ability to operate, or increase the cost of crewing our vessels, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In particular FLNGs require a technically skilled officer staff with specialized training. If we are unable to employ technically skilled staff and crew, we will not be able to adequately staff our vessels particularly as we take delivery of our converted FLNG vessels.

We may be unable to attract and retain key management personnel in the LNG industry, which may negatively impact the effectiveness of our management and our results of operations.

Significant demands are placed on our management as a result of our growth. As we expand our operations, we must manage and monitor our operations, control costs and maintain quality and control. In addition, the provision of management services to our affiliates, Golar Partners and Golar Power, including the supervision of vessel conversions to FSRUs or FLNGs, has increased the complexity of our business and placed additional demands on our management. Our success depends, to a significant extent, upon the abilities and the efforts of our senior executives. While we believe that we have an experienced management team, the loss or unavailability of one or more of our senior executives for any extended period of time could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act and other anti-bribery legislation in other jurisdictions could result in fines, criminal penalties, contract terminations and an adverse effect on our business.

We may operate in a number of countries throughout the world, including countries known to have a reputation for corruption. We are committed to doing business in accordance with applicable anti-corruption laws and have adopted a code of business conduct and ethics which is consistent and in full compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (“FCPA”), and the Bribery Act 2010 of the United Kingdom (“UK Bribery Act”). We are subject, however, to the risk that we, our affiliated entities or our or their respective officers, directors, employees and agents may take actions determined to be in violation of such anti-corruption laws, including the FCPA and the UK Bribery Act. Any such violation could result in substantial fines, sanctions, civil and/or criminal penalties, curtailment of operations in certain jurisdictions, and might adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, actual or alleged violations could damage our reputation and ability to do business. Furthermore, detecting, investigating, and resolving actual or alleged violations is expensive and can consume significant time and attention of our senior management.

In order to effectively compete in some foreign jurisdictions, we utilize local agents and/or establish entities with local operators or strategic partners. All of these activities may involve interaction by our agents with government officials. Even though some of our agents or partners may not themselves be subject to the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act, or other anti-bribery laws to which we may be subject, if our agents or partners make improper payments to government officials or other persons in connection with engagements or partnerships with us, we could be investigated and potentially found liable for violation of such anti-bribery laws and could incur civil and criminal penalties and other sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.


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A cyber-attack could materially disrupt our business.

We rely on information technology systems and networks, the majority of which are provided by Golar Management, in our operations and the administration of our business. Our business operations could be targeted by individuals or groups seeking to sabotage or disrupt our information technology systems and networks, or to steal data. A successful cyber-attack could materially disrupt our operations, including the safety of our operations, and the availability of our vessels and facilities or lead to unauthorized release of information or alteration of information in our systems. Any such attack or other breach of our information technology systems could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

We are subject to laws, directives, and regulations relating to the collection, use, retention, disclosure, security and transfer of personal data. These laws, directives, and regulations, and their interpretation and enforcement continue to evolve and may be inconsistent from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which regulates the use of personally identifiable information, went into effect in the European Union (“EU”) on May 25, 2018, applies globally to all of our activities conducted from an establishment in the EU, to related products and services that we offer to EU customers and to non-EU customers which offer services in the EU. Complying with the GDPR and similar emerging and changing privacy and data protection requirements may cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices. Noncompliance with our legal obligations relating to privacy and data protection could result in penalties, fines, legal proceedings by governmental entities or others, loss of reputation, legal claims by individuals and customers and significant legal and financial exposure and could affect our ability to retain and attract customers.

Changes in the nature of cyber-threats and/or changes to industry standards and regulations might require us to adopt additional procedures for monitoring cybersecurity, which could require additional expenses and/or capital expenditures. However, the impact of such regulations is hard to predict at this time.

Changing corporate laws and reporting requirements could have an adverse impact on our business.

Changing laws, regulations and standards could create greater reporting obligations and compliance requirements on companies such as ours. Whilst the regulatory environment continues to evolve, we have invested in, and intend to continue to invest in, reasonably necessary resources to comply with evolving standards and maintain high standards of corporate governance and public disclosure. Recent examples of increased regulation include the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the GDPR. The GDPR, for instance, broadens the scope of personal privacy laws to protect the rights of European Union citizens and requires organizations to report on data breaches within 72 hours and be bound by more stringent rules for obtaining the consent of individuals on how their data can be used.

Non-compliance with such regulation could result in governmental or other regulatory claims or significant fines that could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and ability to pay distributions.

We are subject to certain risks with respect to our contractual counterparties, and failure of such counterparties to meet their obligations could cause us to suffer losses or otherwise adversely affect our business.

We have entered into, and in the future may enter into, contracts, charter contracts, newbuilding contracts, vessel conversion contracts, credit facilities with banks, sale and leaseback contracts, interest rate swaps, foreign currency swaps and equity swaps. Such agreements subject us to counterparty risks. The ability of each of our counterparties to perform its obligations under a contract with us will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions and the overall financial condition of the counterparty. Should a counterparty fail to honor its obligations under agreements with us, we could sustain significant losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.

We may be subject to litigation that, if not resolved in our favor and not sufficiently insured against, could have a material adverse effect on us.

We may be, from time to time, involved in various litigation matters. These matters may include, among other things, contract disputes, personal injury claims, environmental claims or proceedings, asbestos and other toxic tort claims, employment matters, governmental claims for taxes or duties and other litigation that arises in the ordinary course of our business.


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Although we always intend to defend such matters vigorously, we cannot predict with certainty the outcome or effect of any claim or other litigation matter, and the ultimate outcome of any litigation or the potential costs to resolve them may have a material adverse effect on us. Insurance may not be applicable or sufficient in all cases and/or insurers may not remain solvent, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition. Please read "Item 8 Financial Information-Legal Proceedings and Claims."

We will have to make additional contributions to our pension schemes because it is underfunded.

We provide pension plans for certain of our current and former marine employees. Members do not contribute to the plans and they are closed to any new members. As of December 31, 2018, one of the plans is underfunded by $35.4 million. We may need to increase our contributions in order to meet the schemes' liabilities as they fall due, or, to reduce the deficit. Such contributions could have a material and adverse effect on our cash flows and financial condition.

Vessel values may fluctuate substantially and, if these values are lower at a time when we are attempting to dispose of vessels, we may incur a loss and, if these values are higher when we are attempting to acquire vessels, we may not be able to acquire vessels at attractive prices.

Vessel values can fluctuate substantially over time due to a number of different factors, including:

prevailing economic and market conditions in the natural gas and energy markets;
a substantial or extended decline in demand for LNG;
increases in the supply of vessel capacity;
the type, size and age of a vessel; and
the cost of newbuildings or retrofitting or modifying existing vessels, as a result of technological advances in vessel design or equipment, changes in applicable environmental or other regulations or standards, customer requirements or otherwise.

As our vessels age, the expenses associated with maintaining and operating them are expected to increase, which could have an adverse effect on our business and operations if we do not maintain sufficient cash reserves for maintenance and replacement capital expenditures. Moreover, the cost of a replacement vessel would be significant.

During the period a vessel is subject to a charter, we will not be permitted to sell it to take advantage of increases in vessel values without the charterers’ agreement. If a charter terminates, we may be unable to re-deploy the affected vessels at attractive rates and, rather than continue to incur costs to maintain and finance them, we may seek to dispose of them. When vessel values are low, we may not be able to dispose of vessels at a reasonable price when we wish to sell vessels, and conversely, when vessel values are elevated, we may not be able to acquire additional vessels at attractive prices when we wish to acquire additional vessels, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flow, financial condition and ability to make distributions to shareholders. Please refer to "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects-B. Liquidity and Capital Resources-Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates-Vessel Market Values" for further information.

We are exposed to U.S. dollar and foreign currency fluctuations and devaluations that could harm our reported revenue and results of operations.

Our principal currency for our operations and financing is the U.S. dollar. We generate the majority of our revenues in the U.S. dollar. Apart from the U.S. dollar, we incur a portion of capital, operating and administrative expenses in multiple currencies.

Due to a portion of our expenses being incurred in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, our expenses may, from time to time, increase relative to our revenues as a result of fluctuations in exchange rates, particularly between the U.S. dollar and the Euro, the British Pound, and the Norwegian Kroner, which could affect the amount of net income that we report in future periods. We use financial derivatives to hedge some of our currency exposure. Our use of financial derivatives involves certain risks, including the risk that losses on a hedged position could exceed the nominal amount invested in the instrument and the risk that the counterparty to the derivative transaction may be unable or unwilling to satisfy its contractual obligations, which could have an adverse effect on our results.

Further technological advancements and other innovations affecting LNG carriers could reduce the charter hire rates we are able to obtain when seeking new employment for our existing vessels, which could adversely impact the value of our assets and our results of operations and cash flows.


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The charter rates, asset value and operational life of an LNG carrier are determined by a number of factors, including the vessel’s efficiency, operational flexibility and physical life. Efficiency is reflected in unit freight costs, which are driven by the size of the vessel, its fuel economy and the rate at which LNG in the cargo tanks naturally evaporates. Flexibility is primarily driven by the size of the vessel and includes the ability to enter harbors, utilize related docking facilities and pass through canals and straits. Physical life is related to the original design and construction, the ongoing maintenance and the impact of operational stresses on the vessel. LNG carrier designs are continually evolving. At such time, as newer designs are developed and accepted in the market, these newer vessels may be more efficient or more flexible or have longer physical lives than our vessels. Competition from these more technologically advanced LNG carriers compared to our existing vessels could adversely affect our ability to charter or re-charter our these vessels and the charter hire rates we will be able to secure when we seek to charter or re-charter these vessels, and could also reduce the resale value of these vessels. This could adversely affect our revenues and cash flows, including cash available for dividends to our shareholders, as well as our ability to obtain debt financing for LNG carriers with older technology whose market values have experienced a significant decline.

If we cannot meet our charterers' quality and compliance requirements, we may not be able to operate our vessels profitably, which could have an adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

Customers, and in particular those in the LNG industry, have a high and increasing focus on quality and compliance standards with their suppliers across the entire value chain, including the shipping and transportation segment. Our continuous compliance with these standards and quality requirements is vital for our operations. Related risks could materialize in multiple ways, including a sudden and unexpected breach in quality and/or compliance concerning one or more vessels and/or a continuous decrease in the quality concerning one or more LNG carriers occurring over time. Moreover, continuously increasing requirements from LNG industry constituents can further challenge our ability to meet the standards. Any noncompliance by us, either suddenly or over a period of time, on one or more LNG carriers, or an increase in requirements by our charterers above and beyond what we deliver, may have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

Risks Related to Our Industry
Due to the nature of our business, our performance is subject to the development of the LNG industry, adverse changes or developments in the LNG carrier, FSRU, and FLNG, the LNG industry as a whole or in the offshore energy infrastructure business financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends to shareholders. Specific industry risks include:

Our results of operations and financial condition depend on demand for LNG, LNG carriers, FSRUs and FLNGs.

Our business strategy focuses on expansion in the LNG shipping sector, the floating storage and regasification sector and the floating liquefaction sector. While global LNG demand has continued to rise, the rate of its growth has fluctuated for several reasons, including the global economic downturn and continued economic uncertainty, fluctuations in the price of natural gas and other sources of energy, the continued increase in natural gas production from unconventional sources, including hydraulic fracturing, in regions such as North America and the highly complex and capital intensive nature of new and expanded LNG projects, including liquefaction projects. Accordingly, our results of operations and financial condition depend on continued world and regional demand for LNG, LNG carriers, FSRUs and FLNGs, which could be negatively affected by a number of factors, including but not limited to:

price and availability of natural gas, crude oil and petroleum products;
increases in the cost of natural gas derived from LNG relative to the cost of natural gas;
decreases in the cost of, or increases in the demand for, conventional land-based regasification and liquefaction systems, which could occur if providers or users of regasification or liquefaction services seek greater economies of scale than FSRUs or FLNGs can provide, or if the economic, regulatory or political challenges associated with land-based activities improve;
further development of, or decreases in the cost of, alternative technologies for vessel-based LNG regasification or liquefaction;
increases in the production of natural gas in areas linked by pipelines to consuming areas, the extension of existing, or the development of new, pipeline systems in markets we may serve, or the conversion of existing non-natural gas pipelines to natural gas pipelines in those markets;
negative global or regional economic or political conditions, particularly in LNG-consuming regions, which could reduce energy consumption or its growth;
decreases in the consumption of natural gas due to increases in its price relative to other energy sources or other factors making consumption of natural gas less attractive;

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any significant explosion, spill or other incident involving an LNG facility or carrier, conventional land-based regasification or liquefaction system, or FSRU or FLNG;
a significant increase in the number of LNG carriers, FSRUs or FLNGs available, whether by a reduction in the scrapping of existing vessels or the increase in construction of vessels; and
availability of new, alternative energy sources, including compressed natural gas.

Reduced demand for LNG or LNG liquefaction, storage, shipping or regasification, or any reduction or limitation in LNG production capacity, could have a material adverse effect on prevailing charter rates or the market value of our vessels, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Growth of the LNG market may be limited by many factors, including infrastructure constraints and community and political group resistance to new LNG infrastructure over concerns about environmental, safety and terrorism.

A complete LNG project includes production, liquefaction, regasification, storage and distribution facilities and LNG carriers. Existing LNG projects and infrastructure are limited, and new or expanded LNG projects are highly complex and capital intensive, with new projects often costing several billion dollars. Many factors could negatively affect continued development of LNG infrastructure and related alternatives, including floating liquefaction, storage and regasification, or disrupt the supply of LNG, including:

increases in interest rates or other events that may affect the availability of sufficient financing for LNG projects on commercially reasonable terms;
decreases in the price of LNG, which might decrease the expected returns relating to investments in LNG projects;
the inability of project owners or operators to obtain governmental approvals to construct or operate LNG facilities;
local community resistance to proposed or existing LNG facilities based on safety, environmental or security concerns;
any significant explosion, spill or similar incident involving an LNG production, liquefaction or regasification facility, FSRU or LNG carrier; and
labor or political unrest affecting existing or proposed areas of LNG production, liquefaction and regasification.

If the number of vessels available in the short-term or spot LNG carrier charter market continues to expand and results in reduced opportunities to secure multi-year charters for our vessels, our revenues and cash flows may become more volatile and may decline following expiration or early termination of our current charter arrangements.

Most shipping requirements for new LNG projects continue to be provided on a multi-year basis, though the level of spot voyages and short-term time charters of less than 12 months in duration has grown in the past few years. If the number of vessels available in the short-term or spot charter market continues to expand and results in reduced opportunities to secure multi-year charters for our vessels, we may only be able to enter into short-term time charters upon expiration or early termination of our current charters. As a result, our revenues and cash flows may become more volatile. In addition, an active short-term or spot charter market may require us to enter into charters based on changing market prices, as opposed to contracts based on fixed rates, which could result in a decrease in our revenues and cash flows, including cash available for dividends to our shareholders, especially if we enter into charters during periods when charter rates are depressed.

Our vessels may call on ports located in countries that are subject to restrictions imposed by the U.S. or other governments, which could adversely affect our business. In addition, certain of our charterers may be subject to sanctions that could, if expanded, have a material adverse affect on our business.

Although no vessels operated by us have called on ports located in countries in violation of sanctions and embargoes imposed by the U.S. government or countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism, in the future our vessels may call on ports in these countries from time to time on our charterers’ instructions. The U.S. sanctions and embargo laws and regulations vary in their application, as they do not all apply to the same covered persons or proscribe the same activities, and such sanctions and embargo laws and regulations may be amended or strengthened over time.

U.S. sanctions against Russia include “sectoral sanctions,” which target specific industries. Transactions with companies designated under the Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List (“SSI List”) are not prohibited in all cases. Under the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) 50 percent rule, a company owned 50 percent or more by an SSI-Listed entity is also to be treated as an SSI-Listed entity.

One of our charter counterparties, a major oil and gas company, may be deemed to be designated an SSI by virtue of the 50 percent rule described above. Although the charter counterparty does not appear on either of OFAC’s list of U.S. Specially

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Designated Nationals List (“SDN List”) or the SSI List, certain companies with more than 50 percent ownership in this charter counterparty may be identified as an SSI-Listed entity subject to Directive 4 of OFAC’s Ukraine/Russia-related sanctions. Such charter counterparty may thus also be subject to Directive 4.

Directive 4 prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any activity involving the provision, exportation, or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of goods, services (except for financial services), and technology in support of exploration or production for deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that, among other things, have the potential to produce oil in the Russian federation and that involve a Directive 4 SSI-Listed entity or their property or interests in property, or that are initiated after January 29, 2018 and have the potential to produce oil in any location and a Directive 4 SSI-Listed entity or their property or interests in property has a 33 percent or greater interest or ownership of a majority of the voting interests. Although the sectoral sanctions do not directly apply to non-U.S. persons, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) prohibits, among other things, non-U.S. persons from facilitating “significant transactions” for or on behalf of SDNs and SSI-Listed entities, as well as entities owned 50 percent or more by such entities.

Although we believe that we have been in compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations, and intend to maintain such compliance, there can be no assurance that we will be in compliance in the future, particularly as the scope of certain laws may be unclear and may be subject to changing interpretations. Any such violation could result in fines, penalties or other sanctions that could severely impact our ability to access U.S. capital markets and conduct our business, and could result in some investors deciding, or being required, to divest their interest, or not to invest, in us. In addition, certain institutional investors may have investment policies or restrictions that prevent them from holding securities of companies that have contracts with U.S. embargoed countries or countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism and certain financial institutions may have policies against lending or extending credit to companies that have contracts with U.S. embargoed countries or countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism. The determination by these investors not to invest in, or to divest from, our common shares or the determination by these financial institutions not to offer financing may adversely affect the price at which our common shares trade. Moreover, our charterers may violate applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations as a result of actions that do not involve us or our vessels, and those violations could in turn negatively affect our reputation. In addition, our reputation and the market for our securities may be adversely affected if we engage in certain other activities, such as entering into charters with individuals or entities in countries subject to U.S. sanctions and embargo laws that are not controlled by the governments of those countries, or engaging in operations associated with those countries pursuant to contracts with third parties that are unrelated to those countries or entities controlled by their governments. Investor perception of the value of our common shares may be adversely affected by the consequences of war, the effects of terrorism, civil unrest and governmental actions in these and surrounding countries.

Maritime claimants could arrest our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flow.

If we are in default on certain kinds of obligations, such as those to our lenders, crew members, suppliers of goods and services to our vessels or shippers of cargo, these parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against one or more of our vessels. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lien holder may enforce its lien by arresting a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. In a few jurisdictions, claimants could try to assert “sister ship” liability against one vessel in our fleet for claims relating to another of our vessels. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels could interrupt our cash flow and require us to pay to have the arrest lifted. Under some of our present charters, if the vessel is arrested or detained (for as few as 14 days in the case of one of our charters) as a result of a claim against us, we may be in default of our charter and the charterer may terminate the charter. This would negatively impact our revenues and reduce our cash available for distribution to unitholders.
An economic slowdown or changes in the economic and political environment in the Asia Pacific region could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We anticipate a significant number of the port calls made by our vessels will continue to involve the loading or discharging
of LNG in ports in the Asia Pacific region. As a result, any negative changes in economic conditions in any Asia Pacific country, particularly in China, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our future prospects. Before the global economic financial crisis that began in 2008, China had one of the world's fastest growing economies in terms of gross domestic product, or GDP, which had a significant impact on shipping demand. The quarterly year-over-year growth rate of China's GDP was approximately 6.5% for the year ended December 31, 2018, as compared to approximately 6.9% for the year ended December 31, 2017, and continues to remain below pre-2008 levels. We cannot assure you that the Chinese economy will not experience a significant contraction in the future.

Although state-owned enterprises still account for a substantial portion of the Chinese industrial output, in general, the Chinese government is reducing the level of direct control that it exercises over the economy through state plans and other measures.

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There is an increasing level of freedom and autonomy in areas such as allocation of resources, production, pricing and management and a gradual shift in emphasis to a "market economy" and enterprise reform. Limited price reforms were undertaken with the result that prices for certain commodities are principally determined by market forces. Many of the reforms are unprecedented or experimental and may be subject to revision, change or abolition based upon the outcome of such experiments. If the Chinese government does not continue to pursue a policy of economic reform, the level of imports to and exports from China could be adversely affected by changes to these economic reforms by the Chinese government, as well as by changes in political, economic and social conditions or other relevant policies of the Chinese government, such as changes in laws, regulations or export and import restrictions. Notwithstanding economic reform, the Chinese government may adopt policies that favor domestic companies and may hinder our ability to compete with them effectively. For example, China imposes a tax for non-resident international transportation enterprises engaged in the provision of services of passengers or cargo, among other items, in and out of China using their own, chartered or leased vessels. The regulation may subject international transportation companies to Chinese enterprise income tax on profits generated from international transportation services passing through Chinese ports. This tax or similar regulations, such as the recently promoted environmental taxes on coal, by China may result in an increase in the cost of raw materials imported to China and the risks associated with importing raw materials to China, as well as a decrease in any raw materials shipped from our charterers to China. This could have an adverse impact on our charterers’ business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us. Moreover, an economic slowdown in the economies of the European Union and other Asian countries may further adversely affect economic growth in China and elsewhere.

In addition, concerns regarding the possibility of sovereign debt defaults by European Union member countries, including Greece, have in the past disrupted financial markets throughout the world, and may lead to weaker consumer demand in the European Union, the United States, and other parts of the world. The possibility of sovereign debt defaults by European Union member countries, including Greece, and the possibility of market reforms to float the Chinese renminbi, either of which development could weaken the Euro against the Chinese renminbi, could adversely affect consumer demand in the European Union. Moreover, the revaluation of the renminbi may negatively impact the United States' demand for imported goods, many of which are shipped from China. Future weak economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders. Our business, financial condition, results of operations, ability to pay dividends as well as our future prospects, will likely be materially and adversely affected by another economic downturn in any of the aforementioned countries and regions.

Political instability, terrorist attacks and international hostilities can affect the seaborne transportation industry, which could adversely affect our business.

We conduct most of our operations outside of the United States, and our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends, if any, in the future may be adversely affected by changing economic, political and government conditions in the countries and regions where our vessels are employed or registered. Moreover, we operate in a sector of the economy that is likely to be adversely impacted by the effects of political conflicts, including the current political instability in the Middle East and the South China Sea region and other geographic countries and areas, geopolitical events such as the withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union, or “Brexit,” terrorist or other attacks, and war (or threatened war) or international hostilities. Terrorist attacks and the continuing response of the United States and others to these attacks, as well as the threat of future terrorist attacks around the world, continues to cause uncertainty in the world’s financial markets and may impact our business, operating results and financial condition. Continuing conflict and recent developments in the Middle East, and the presence of U.S. or similar forces in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and various other regions, may lead to additional acts of terrorism and armed conflict around the world, which may contribute to further economic instability in the global financial markets. These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain additional financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse impact on our operating results, revenues and costs.

Further, governments may turn to trade barriers to protect their domestic industries against foreign imports, thereby depressing shipping demand. In particular, leaders in the United States have indicated that the United States may seek to implement more protective trade measures. President Trump was elected on a platform promoting trade protectionism. The results of the presidential election have thus created significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States, China and other exporting countries, including with respect to trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs. For example, on January 23, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement intended to include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru and a number of Asian countries. In March 2018, President Trump announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum into the United States that could have a negative impact on international trade generally. Most recently, in January 2019, the United States announced sanctions against Venezuela, which may have an effect on its oil output and in turn affect global oil supply. Protectionist

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developments, or the perception that they may occur, may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions, and may significantly reduce global trade. Moreover, increasing trade protectionism may cause an increase in (a) the cost of goods exported from regions globally, (b) the length of time required to transport goods and (c) the risks associated with exporting goods. Such increases may significantly affect the quantity of goods to be shipped, shipping time schedules, voyage costs and other associated costs, which could have an adverse impact on the shipping industry, and therefore, our charterers and their business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and our ability to pay any cash distributions to our stockholders.

The results of the U.K.’s referendum on withdrawal from the European Union may have a negative effect on global economic conditions, financial markets and our business.

In June 2016, a majority of voters in the U.K. elected to withdraw from the EU in a national referendum, and in March 2017, the government of the U.K. formally initiated the process. The referendum was advisory, and the terms of any withdrawal are subject to a negotiation period that could last at least two years after the March 2017 initiation. There is currently no agreement in place regarding the withdrawal, creating significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the U.K. and the EU, including with respect to the laws and regulations that will apply as the U.K. determines which EU‑derived laws to replace or replicate in the event of a withdrawal. The referendum has also given rise to calls for the governments of other EU member states to consider withdrawal. These developments, or the perception that any of them could occur, have had and may continue to have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets, and may significantly reduce global market liquidity and restrict the ability of key market participants to operate in certain financial markets. Any of these factors could depress economic activity and restrict our access to capital, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and our ability to pay distributions. Additionally, Brexit, or similar events in other jurisdictions, could impact global markets, including foreign exchange and securities markets; any resulting changes in currency exchange rates, tariffs, treaties and other regulatory matters could in turn adversely impact our business and operations.

Risks Related to Industry Regulation
Our industry is subject to a number of regulations, particularly in relation to Health and Safety, environmental protection and maritime conduct. Changes to these regulations could impact our business, our financial position and our operations. In particular:

Regulations relating to ballast water discharge coming into effect during September 2019 may adversely affect our revenues and profitability.

The International Maritime Organization ("IMO") has imposed updated guidelines on ballast water management systems specifying the maximum amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged from a vessel’s ballast water. Depending on the date of the IOPP renewal survey, existing vessels must comply with the updated D-2 standard on or after September 8, 2019. For most vessels, compliance with the D-2 standard will involve installing on-board systems to treat ballast water and eliminate unwanted organisms. The costs of compliance to the updated guidelines may be substantial and adversely affect our revenues and profitability.

Furthermore, United States regulations are currently changing. Although the 2013 Vessel General Permit (“VGP”) program and U.S. National Invasive Species Act (“NISA”) are currently in effect to regulate ballast discharge, exchange and installation, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (“VIDA”), which was signed into law on December 4, 2018, requires that the U.S. Coast Guard develop implementation, compliance, and enforcement regulations regarding ballast water within two years. The new regulations could require the installation of new equipment, which may cause us to incur substantial costs.

Our operations are subject to various international, federal, state and local environmental, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions laws and regulations. Compliance with these obligations, and any future changes to environmental legislation and regulation applicable to international and national maritime trade, may have an adverse effect on our business.

Our operations are affected by extensive and changing international, national and local environmental protection laws, regulations, treaties and conventions in force in international waters, the jurisdictional waters of the countries in which our vessels operate, as well as the countries of our vessels’ registration, including those governing response to and liability for oil spills, discharges to air and water, and the handling and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. In some cases, these laws and regulations require us to obtain governmental permits and authorizations before we may conduct certain activities.

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National laws generally provide for a LNG carrier or offshore LNG facility owner or operator to bear strict liability for pollution, subject to a right to limit liability under applicable national or international regimes for limitation of liability. The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, collectively referred to as MARPOL 73/78 (“MARPOL”), which regulates air emissions, oil pollution and other discharges to the environment, can affect our operations. In addition, our LNG vessels may become subject to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, or the HNS, adopted in 1996 and subsequently amended by the April 2010 Protocol, which is discussed further below.
Laws that apply to our operations change from time to time. For example, in June 2015 the IMO formally adopted the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or Low flashpoint Fuels, or the IGF Code, which is designed to minimize the risks involved with ships using low flashpoint fuels, including LNG. Compliance with the IGF Code is mandatory under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974 (“SOLAS”) through adopted amendments incorporating the IGF Code into SOLAS. The IGF Code and the amendments to SOLAS became effective January 1, 2017.
Further legislation, or amendments to existing legislation, applicable to international and national maritime trade are expected over the coming years in areas such as ship recycling, sewage systems, emission control (including emissions of greenhouse gases), and ballast treatment and handling. Such legislation or regulations may require additional capital expenditures or operating expenses (such as increased costs for low-sulfur fuel) in order for us to maintain our vessels’ compliance with international and/or national regulations.
In addition, due to concern over the risk of climate change, a number of countries, the United States, the EU and the IMO have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emission from vessel emissions. These regulatory measures may include, among others, adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, increased efficiency standards, and incentives or mandates for renewable energy. These could have a negative impact on our business if such laws, regulations, treaties or international agreements reduce the worldwide demand for oil and gas.
Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations may result in administrative and civil penalties, criminal sanctions or the suspension or termination of our operations, including, in certain instances, seizure or detention of our vessels. Such legislation or regulations may require additional capital expenditures or operating expenses. Please see "Item 4. Information on the Company-B. Business Overview-Environmental and Other Regulations" below for a more detailed discussion on these topics.
Climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions may adversely impact our operations and markets.

Due to concern over the risk of climate change, a number of countries and the IMO have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emission from vessel emissions. These regulatory measures may include, among others, adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, increased efficiency standards, and incentives or mandates for renewable energy. Also, a treaty may be adopted in the future that requires the adoption of restrictions on shipping emissions. Compliance with changes in laws and regulations relating to climate change could increase our costs of operating and maintaining our vessels and could require us to make significant financial expenditures that we cannot predict with certainty at this time.

Adverse effects upon the oil and gas industry relating to climate change, including growing public concern about the environmental impact of climate change, may also have an effect on demand for our services. For example, increased regulation of greenhouse gases or other concerns relating to climate change may reduce the demand for oil and gas in the future or create greater incentives for use of alternative energy sources. Any long-term material adverse effect on the oil and gas industry could have a significant financial and operational adverse impact on our business that we cannot predict with certainty at this time. Please read “Item 4. Information on the Company-B. Business Overview-Environmental and Other Regulations” below for a more detailed discussion.

Compliance with safety and other vessel requirements imposed by classification societies may be very costly and may adversely affect our business.

The hull and machinery of every large, oceangoing commercial vessel must be classed by a classification society authorized by its country of registry. The classification society certifies that a vessel is safe and seaworthy in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the country of registry of the vessel and SOLAS. The American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas are all members of the International Association of Classification Societies. All of our vessels have been awarded ISM certification or are in the process of being certified and are currently “in class” other than two LNG carriers, the Gimi and the

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Gandria. The Gimi has entered into the shipyard for her conversion into a FLNG vessel , whereas the Gandria is in lay-up and proposed to be converted into a FLNG vessel.

As part of the certification process, a vessel must undergo annual surveys, intermediate surveys and special surveys. In lieu of a special survey, a vessel’s machinery may be on a continuous survey cycle, under which the machinery would be surveyed periodically over a five-year period. Each of the vessels in our existing fleet is on a planned maintenance system approval, and as such the classification society attends on board once every year to verify that the maintenance of the equipment on board is done correctly. Each of the vessels in our existing fleet is required to be qualified within its respective classification society for dry-docking once every five years subject to an intermediate underwater survey done using an approved diving company in the presence of a surveyor from the classification society.

If any vessel does not maintain its class or fails any annual survey, intermediate survey or special survey, the vessel will be unable to trade between ports and will be unemployable. We would lose revenue while the vessel was off-hire and incur costs of compliance. This would negatively impact our revenues and reduce our cash available for distributions to our shareholders.


Risks Related to Our Common Shares

We are a holding company, and our ability to pay dividends will be limited by the value of investments we currently hold and by the distribution of funds from our subsidiaries and affiliates.

We are a holding company whose assets mainly comprise equity interests in our subsidiaries and other quoted and non-quoted companies and our interest in our affiliates. As a result, should we decide to pay dividends, we would be dependent on the performance of our operating subsidiaries and other investments. If we were not able to receive sufficient funds from our subsidiaries and other investments, including from the sale of our investment interests, we would not be able to pay dividends unless we obtain funds from other sources. We may not be able to obtain the necessary funds from other sources on terms acceptable to us.
    
If we fail to meet the expectations of analysts or investors, our stock price could decline substantially.

In some quarters, our results may be below analysts’ or investors’ expectations. If this occurs, the price of our common stock could decline. Important factors that could cause our revenue and operating results to fluctuate from quarter to quarter include, but are not limited to:
    
prevailing economic and market conditions in the natural gas and energy markets;
negative global or regional economic or political conditions, particularly in LNG-consuming regions, which could reduce energy consumption or its growth;
declines in demand for LNG or the services of LNG carriers, FSRUs or FLNGs;
increases in the supply of LNG carrier capacity operating in the spot market or the supply of FSRUs or FLNGs;
marine disasters; war, piracy or terrorism; environmental accidents; or inclement weather conditions;
mechanical failures or accidents involving any of our vessels; and
dry-dock scheduling and capital expenditures.

Most of these factors are not within our control, and the occurrence of one or more of them may cause our operating results to vary widely.

Our common share price may be highly volatile and future sales of our common shares could cause the market price of our common shares to decline.

Historically, the market prices of securities of shipping companies have experienced fluctuations that often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating results of those companies. Our common shares have traded on The Nasdaq Global Select Market, or Nasdaq, since December 12, 2002 under the symbol "GLNG." We cannot assure you that an active and liquid public market for our common shares will continue. The market price for our common shares has historically fluctuated over a wide range. In 2018, the closing market price of our common shares on Nasdaq ranged from a low of $21.36 on December 20, 2018 to a high of $34.74 per share on May 21, 2018. As of March 15, 2019 , the closing market price of our common shares on Nasdaq was $21.81 per share. The market price of our common shares may continue to fluctuate significantly in response to many factors such as actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly or annual results and those of other public companies in our industry, the suspension of our dividend payments, mergers and strategic alliances in the shipping industry, market conditions in the LNG shipping industry, developments in our FLNG investments, shortfalls in our operating results

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from levels forecast by securities analysts, announcements concerning us or our competitors, the general state of the securities market, and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. The market for common shares in this industry may be equally volatile. Therefore, we cannot assure our shareholders that they will be able to sell any of our common shares that they may have purchased at a price greater than or equal to the original purchase price.

Additionally, sales of a substantial number of our common shares in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, may depress the market price for our common shares. These sales could also impair our ability to raise additional capital through the sale of our equity securities in the future.

We may issue additional common shares or other equity securities without our shareholders’ approval, which would dilute their ownership interests and may depress the market price of our common shares.

We may issue additional common shares or other equity securities in the future in connection with, among other things, vessel conversions, future vessel acquisitions, repayment of outstanding indebtedness or our equity incentive plan, in each case without shareholder approval in a number of circumstances.

Our issuance of additional common shares or other equity securities would have the following effects:

our existing shareholders’ proportionate ownership interest in us will decrease;
the amount of cash available for dividends payable on our common shares may decrease;
the relative voting strength of each previously outstanding common share may be diminished; and
the market price of our common shares may decline.

Because we are a Bermuda corporation, our shareholders may have less recourse against us or our directors than shareholders of a U.S. company have against the directors of that U.S. Company.

Because we are a Bermuda company, the rights of holders of our common shares will be governed by Bermuda law and our memorandum of association and bye-laws. The rights of shareholders under Bermuda law may differ from the rights of shareholders in other jurisdictions, including with respect to, among other things, rights related to interested directors, amalgamations, mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, the exculpation and indemnification of directors and shareholder lawsuits.

Among these differences is a Bermuda law provision that permits a company to exempt a director from liability for any negligence, default, or breach of a fiduciary duty except for liability resulting directly from that director’s fraud or dishonesty.  Our bye-laws provide that no director or officer shall be liable to us or our shareholders unless the director’s or officer’s liability results from that person’s fraud or dishonesty. Our bye-laws also require us to indemnify a director or officer against any losses incurred by that director or officer resulting from their negligence or breach of duty, except where such losses are the result of fraud or dishonesty.  Accordingly, we carry directors’ and officers’ insurance to protect against such a risk.

In addition, under Bermuda law, the directors of a Bermuda company owe their duties to that company and not to the shareholders. Bermuda law does not, generally, permit shareholders of a Bermuda company to bring an action for a wrongdoing against the company or its directors, but rather the company itself is generally the proper plaintiff in an action against the directors for a breach of their fiduciary duties. Moreover, class actions and derivative actions are generally not available to shareholders under Bermuda law. These provisions of Bermuda law and our bye-laws, as well as other provisions not discussed here, may differ from the law of jurisdictions with which shareholders may be more familiar and may substantially limit or prohibit a shareholder's ability to bring suit against our directors or in the name of the company. The Bermuda courts, however, would ordinarily be expected to permit a shareholder to commence an action in the name of a company to remedy a wrong to the company where the act complained of is alleged to be beyond the corporate power of the company or illegal, or would result in the violation of the company’s memorandum of association or bye-laws. Furthermore, consideration would be given by a Bermuda court to acts that are alleged to constitute a fraud against minority shareholders or, for instance, where an act requires the approval of a greater percentage of the company’s shareholders than that which actually approved it.

It's also worth noting that under Bermuda law, our directors and officers are required to disclose to our board any material interests they have in any contract entered into by our company or any of its subsidiaries with third parties. Our directors and officers are also required to disclose their material interests in any corporation or other entity which is party to a material contract with our company or any of its subsidiaries. A director who has disclosed his or her interests in accordance with Bermuda law may participate in any meeting of our board, and may vote on the approval of a material contract, notwithstanding that he or she has a material interest.


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Because our offices and most of our assets are outside the United States, our shareholders may not be able to bring a suit against us, or enforce a judgment obtained against us in the United States.

We, and most of our subsidiaries, are incorporated in jurisdictions outside the U.S. and substantially all of our assets and those of our subsidiaries are located outside the U.S. In addition, most of our directors and officers are non-residents of the U.S., and all or a substantial portion of the assets of these non-residents are located outside the U.S. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for U.S. investors to serve process within the U.S. upon us, our subsidiaries, or our directors and officers, or to enforce a judgment against us for civil liabilities in U.S. courts. In addition, you should not assume that courts in the countries in which we or our subsidiaries are incorporated or where our or our subsidiaries'’ assets are located would enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained in actions against us or our subsidiaries based upon the civil liability provisions of applicable U.S. federal and state securities laws, or would enforce, in original actions, liabilities against us or our subsidiaries based on those laws.


Tax Risks

A change in tax laws in any country in which we operate could adversely affect us

Tax laws, treaties and regulations are highly complex and subject to interpretation. Consequently, we and our subsidiaries are subject to changing laws, treaties and regulations in and between the countries in which we operate. Our tax expense is based on our interpretation of the tax laws in effect at the time the expense was incurred. A change in tax laws, treaties or regulations, or in the interpretation thereof, could result in a materially higher tax expense or a higher effective tax rate on our earnings. Such changes may include measures enacted in response to the ongoing initiatives in relation to fiscal legislation at an international level such as the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

United States tax authorities could treat us as a “passive foreign investment company”, which could have adverse United States federal income tax consequences to U.S. shareholders.

A foreign corporation will be treated as a "passive foreign investment company," or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes if either (1) at least 75% of its gross income during the taxable year consists of certain types of "passive income" or (2) at least 50% of the average value of the corporation's assets during such taxable year produce or are held for the production of those types of "passive income." For purposes of these tests, "passive income" includes dividends, interest, and gains from the sale or exchange of investment property and rents and royalties other than rents and royalties which are received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business. For purposes of these tests, income derived from the performance of services does not constitute "passive income." U.S. shareholders of a PFIC are subject to a disadvantageous U.S. federal income tax regime with respect to the income derived by the PFIC, the distributions they receive from the PFIC and the gain, if any, they derive from the sale or other disposition of their shares in the PFIC.

Based on our current and expected future method of operation, we do not believe that we will be a PFIC with respect to any taxable year. In this regard, we intend to treat the gross income we derive or are deemed to derive from our time chartering activities as services income, rather than rental income. Accordingly, we believe that our income from our time chartering activities does not constitute "passive income," and the assets that we own and operate in connection with the production of that income do not constitute passive assets.

There is, however, no direct legal authority under the PFIC rules addressing our method of operation. We believe there is substantial legal authority supporting our position consisting of case law and United States Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, pronouncements concerning the characterization of income derived from time charters and voyage charters as services income for other tax purposes. However, we note that there is also authority which characterizes time charter income as rental income rather than services income for other tax purposes. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the IRS or a court of law will accept our position, and there is a risk that the IRS or a court of law could determine that we are a PFIC. Moreover, no assurance can be given that we would not constitute a PFIC for any future taxable year if there were to be changes in the nature and extent of our operations.

If the IRS were to find that we are or have been a PFIC for any taxable year, our U.S. shareholders will face adverse U.S. tax consequences and certain information reporting requirements. Under the PFIC rules, unless those shareholders make a certain election available (which election could itself have adverse consequences for such shareholders), such shareholders would be liable to pay U.S. federal income tax at the then prevailing income tax rates on ordinary income plus interest upon excess distributions and upon any gain from the disposition of our common shares, as if the excess distribution or gain had been

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recognized ratably over the shareholder's holding period of our common shares. Please see the section of this annual report entitled "Taxation" under "Item 10. Additional Information-E. Taxation" for a more comprehensive discussion of the U.S. federal income tax consequences if we were to be treated as a PFIC.

We may have to pay tax on United States source income, which would reduce our earnings.

Under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended, or the Code, 50% of the gross shipping income of a vessel owning or chartering corporation, such as ourselves and our subsidiaries, that is attributable to transportation that begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States, may be subject to a 4% U.S. federal income tax without allowance for deduction, unless that corporation qualifies for exemption from tax under Section 883 of the Code and the applicable Treasury Regulations recently promulgated thereunder.

We expect that we and each of our subsidiaries will qualify for this statutory tax exemption and we will take this position for U.S. federal income tax return reporting purposes. However, there are factual circumstances beyond our control that could cause us to lose the benefit of this tax exemption and thereby become subject to U.S. federal income tax on our U.S. source income. Therefore, we can give no assurances that this tax exemption will apply to us or to any of our subsidiaries.

If we or our subsidiaries are not entitled to exemption under Section 883 of the Code for any taxable year, we or our subsidiaries could be subject for those years to an effective 4% U.S. federal income tax on the gross shipping income we or our subsidiaries derive during the year that are attributable to the transport of cargoes to or from the United States. The imposition of this tax would have a negative effect on our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our shareholders. Please see “Item 10. Additional Information-E. Taxation" for further information.

We may become subject to taxation in Bermuda which would negatively affect our results.

At the present time, there is no Bermuda income or profits tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax, capital transfer tax, estate duty or inheritance tax payable by us or by our shareholders in respect of our shares. We have obtained an assurance from the Minister of Finance of Bermuda under the Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966 that, in the event that any legislation is enacted in Bermuda imposing any tax computed on profits or income, or computed on any capital asset, gain or appreciation or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax, such tax shall not, until March 31, 2035, be applicable to us or to any of our operations or to our shares, debentures or other obligations except insofar as such tax applies to persons ordinarily resident in Bermuda or is payable by us in respect of real property owned or leased by us in Bermuda. We cannot assure you that a future Minister would honor that assurance, which is not legally binding, or that after such date we would not be subject to any such tax. If we were to become subject to taxation in Bermuda, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

As a Bermuda exempted company incorporated under Bermuda law with subsidiaries in another offshore jurisdiction, our operations may be subject to economic substance requirements.

On December 5, 2017, following an assessment of the tax policies of various countries by the Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation of the European Union (the “COCG”), the Council of the European Union approved and published Council conclusions containing a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes (the “Conclusions”). Although at that time not considered “non-cooperative jurisdictions,” certain countries, including Bermuda, were listed as having “tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity.” In connection with the Conclusions, and to avoid being placed on the list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions,” the government of Bermuda, among others, committed to addressing COCG proposals relating to economic substance for entities doing business in or through their respective jurisdictions and to pass legislation to implement any appropriate changes by the end of 2018. The Economic Substance Act 2018 and the Economic Substance Regulations 2018 of Bermuda (the “Economic Substance Act” and the “Economic Substance Regulations”, respectively) became operative on December 31, 2018. The Economic Substance Act applies to every registered entity in Bermuda that engages in a relevant activity and requires that every such entity shall maintain a substantial economic presence in Bermuda. A relevant activity for the purposes of the Economic Substance Act is banking business, insurance business, fund management business, financing business, leasing business, headquarters business, shipping business, distribution and service centre business, intellectual property holding business and conducting business as a holding entity, which may include a pure equity holding entity. The Economic Substance Act provides that a registered entity that carries on a relevant activity complies with economic substance requirements if (a) it is directed and managed in Bermuda, (b) its core income-generating activities (as may be prescribed) are undertaken in Bermuda with respect to the relevant activity, (c) it maintains adequate physical presence in Bermuda, (d) it has adequate full time employees in Bermuda with suitable qualifications and (e) it incurs adequate operating expenditure in Bermuda in relation to the relevant activity.


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A registered entity that carries on a relevant activity is obliged under the Economic Substance Act to file a declaration in the prescribed form (the “Declaration”) with the Registrar of Companies (the “Registrar”) on an annual basis. The Economic Substance Regulations provide that minimum economic substance requirements shall apply in relation to an entity if the entity is a pure equity holding entity which only holds or manages equity participations, and earns passive income from dividends, distributions, capital gains and other incidental income only. The minimum economic substance requirements include a) compliance with applicable corporate governance requirements set forth in the Bermuda Companies Act 1981 including keeping records of account, books and papers and financial statements and b) submission of an annual economic substance declaration form. Additionally, the Economic Substance Regulations provide that a pure equity holding entity complies with economic substance requirements where it also has adequate employees for holding and managing equity participations, and adequate premises in Bermuda.

Certain of our subsidiaries may from time to time be organized other jurisdictions identified by the COCG based on global standards set by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development with the objective of preventing low-tax jurisdictions from attracting profits from certain activities. These jurisdictions, including the Marshall Islands, have also enacted economic substance laws and regulations which we may be obligated to comply with. If we fail to comply with our obligations under the Economic Substance Act or any similar law applicable to us in any other jurisdiction, we could be subject to financial penalties and spontaneous disclosure of information to foreign tax officials in related jurisdictions and may be struck from the register of companies in Bermuda or such other jurisdiction. Any of these actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Bermuda’s continued presence on a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions by the European Union could harm our business.

On March 12, 2019, Bermuda was placed by the EU on its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes due to an issue with Bermuda's economic substance legislation which was not resolved in time for the EU's deadline. At present, the impact of being included on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes is unclear. While Bermuda has now amended its legislation which the Bermuda Government has stated has addressed this issue and expects to be removed from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions at the EU's Economic and Financial Affairs Council's next meeting which is scheduled for May 2019, there can be no assurance that Bermuda will be removed from such list. If Bermuda is not removed from the list and sanctions or other financial, tax or regulatory measures were applied by European Member States to countries on the list or further economic substance requirements were imposed by Bermuda, our business could be harmed.

ITEM 4.  INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

A.  History and Development of the Company

We are a midstream LNG company engaged primarily in the transportation and regasification of LNG and the liquefaction of natural gas. We are engaged in the acquisition, ownership, operation and chartering of LNG carriers, FSRUs and FLNGs and the development of LNG projects through our subsidiaries, affiliates and joint venture.

As of March 15, 2019 , we, together with our affiliates Golar Partners and Golar Power, have a combined fleet of twenty-seven vessels, comprised of eighteen LNG carriers, eight FSRUs and one FLNG. Of these vessels, six of the FSRUs and four of the LNG carriers are owned by Golar Partners and one of the FSRUs and two of the LNG carriers are owned by Golar Power. Most of the Golar Partners owned vessels are on long-term time charters. Seven of our LNG carriers, one of our FSRUs and two of Golar Power's LNG carriers are participating in the LNG carrier pool, referred to as the Cool Pool. Of the remaining vessels, two of our LNG carriers are on shorter-term time charters, the  Gandria is being contemplated for conversion into a FLNG and the Gimi entered Keppel Shipyard Limited's ("Keppel") shipyard in early 2019 to commence initial work for her conversion into a FLNG to service the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project.

We intend to leverage our relationships with existing customers and continue to develop relationships with other industry participants. Our goal is to earn higher margins through maintaining strong service-based relationships combined with flexible and innovative LNG shipping, FSRU and FLNG solutions. We believe customers place their confidence in our shipping, storage, regasification and liquefaction services based on the reliable and safe way we conduct our, our affiliates’ and our joint venture's LNG operations.

In line with our ambition to become an integrated LNG midstream asset provider and our experience of converting LNG carriers into FSRUs, we have successfully converted one of our LNG carriers, the Hilli Episeyo , into a FLNG and commenced conversion of another, the Gimi . In addition, we have entered into a definitive contract with Keppel and Black & Veatch for the conversion of another LNG carrier, the Gandria , into a FLNG. Our aim is to find strong strategic partners that have an interest in utilizing one or more of our FLNGs.

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We are listed on Nasdaq under the symbol "GLNG". We were incorporated under the name Golar LNG Limited as an exempted company under the Bermuda Companies Act of 1981 in the Islands of Bermuda on May 10, 2001 and maintain our principal executive headquarters at 2nd Floor, S.E. Pearman Building, 9 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda. Our telephone number at that address is +1 441 295 4705. Our principal administrative offices are located at The Zig Zag, 70 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6SQ, United Kingdom and our telephone number at that address is +44 207 063 7900.

The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information that we file electronically with the SEC, can be obtained from the SEC’s website at (http://www.sec.gov) or from “SEC fillings” tab in the “Investor Relations” section of our website (www.golarlng.com).

Investments

Since January 1, 2016, we own interests in the following companies which we account for using the equity method:

a.
Golar Partners

In September 2007, we formed Golar Partners under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Golar Partners was formed to own vessels with long-term charters, typically five years or longer, through wholly-owned subsidiaries in order to distribute the different risk profiles of the different vessel types of total fleet controlled or affiliated with Golar. Golar Operating LLC, or the General Partner, our wholly-owned subsidiary, was also formed in September 2007 to act as the general partner of Golar Partners under the limited partnership agreement of Golar Partners, and under that agreement the General Partner received a 2% general partner interest and 100% of the IDRs in Golar Partners.

In April 2011, we completed the IPO of Golar Partners. Golar Partners is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol "GMLP". In connection with this IPO, we entered into an Omnibus Agreement, governing, among other things when the Company and Golar Partners may compete against each other as well as rights of first offer on certain FSRUs and LNG carriers. Since December 2012, Golar Partners has been considered as an affiliate entity and not as our controlled subsidiary. As of March 15, 2019 , we own 100% of the general partner units and 30.6% of the common units in Golar Partners, in addition to 100% of the IDRs.

On October 13, 2016, we entered into an equity exchange agreement with Golar Partners in which we reset our rights to receive cash distributions in respect of our interests in the incentive distribution rights, or Old IDRs, in exchange for the issuance of (i) New IDRs, (ii) an aggregate of 2,994,364 common units and 61,109 general partner units, and (iii) an aggregate of up to 748,592 additional common units and up to 15,278 additional general partner units that may be issued if target distributions are met ("the Earn-Out Units"). Based on the agreement, half of the Earn-Out Units ("first tranche") would vest if Golar Partners paid a distribution equal to, or greater than, $0.5775 per common unit in each of the quarterly periods ended December 31, 2016, March 31, 2017, June 30, 2017 and September 30, 2017. Having satisfied the minimum quarterly distribution in respect of these quarters, Golar Partners issued to Golar 374,295 common units and 7,639 general partner units on November 15, 2017. The New IDRs result in the minimum distribution level increasing from $0.3850 per common unit to $0.5775 per common unit. The fair value of the Old IDRs was not materially different to the fair value of all of the newly issued instruments. The agreement also required Golar Partners to pay Golar the distributions that it would have been entitled to receive on these units in respect of each of those four preceding quarters. Therefore, in connection with the issuance of the above Earn-Out Units, Golar also received $0.9 million in dividends in the prior period. The remaining Earn-Out Units ("second tranche") would be issued if Golar Partners paid a distribution equal to $0.5775 per common unit in the periods ending December 31, 2017, March 31, 2018, June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2018. Having not satisfied the minimum quarterly distribution over all of these quarters, the second tranche did not vest.

Since the IPO of Golar Partners, we have sold equity interests in six vessels to Golar Partners for an aggregate value of $1.9 billion. As of March 15, 2019 , Golar Partners had a fleet of ten vessels acquired from or contributed by us to provide funding for our projects as well as our growth.

In July 2018, we and the affiliates of Keppel Shipyard Limited ("Keppel") and Black & Veatch Corporation ("B&V") (together, the "Sellers"), completed the sale ("Hilli Disposal") to Golar Partners of common units in our consolidated subsidiary Hilli LLC (the "Hilli Common Units"), which owns Golar Hilli Corp. ("Hilli Corp"), the disponent owner of the Hilli Episeyo . Please refer to refer to "Item 4. Information on the Company-A. History and Development of the Company-FLNG segment-The Hilli Disposal" for further information.


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b.
Golar Power

    In order to further develop and finance our LNG based downstream investment opportunities, in June 2016, we formed Golar Power, a 50/50 joint venture with investment vehicles affiliated with the private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, or Stonepeak. The joint venture company, Golar Power, offers integrated LNG based downstream solutions, through the ownership and operation of FSRUs and associated terminal and power generation infrastructure. Golar Power currently has a 50% interest in a Brazilian corporation, CELSE, that was formed for the purpose of constructing and operating a combined cycle, gas fired, power plant with installed capacity of 1,515 megawatts located in the municipality of Barra dos Coqueiros in the State of Sergipe in Brazil. The cost of constructing the power plant and related terminal, including taxes and financing costs, is estimated at $1.7 billion. In April 2018, CELSE reached financial closing of its $1.3 billion non-recourse debt facility, which fully funds the project. As of March 15, 2019 , the construction of the Sergipe power plant remains on track for commencement of operations early 2020.

Golar Power also owns a FSRU, the Golar Nanook , constructed at Samsung shipyard, delivered to Golar Power in September 2018 and has arrived in Brazil, and two modern 160,000 cbm trifuel LNG carriers, the Golar Penguin and the Golar Celsius , currently operating in the Cool Pool, suited for conversion to FSRUs. In connection with the financial close of the Sergipe Project funding, Golar Power has also executed contracts with CELSE to charter the FSRU Golar Nanook for a period of 25 years.

Golar Power has also entered into an Omnibus Agreement with Golar Partners, under which Golar Partners has a right of first refusal with respect to any transfers or sales of any LNG carrier or FSRU owned by Golar Power and operating under a charter for five or more years.

c.
Avenir LNG Limited (“Avenir”)

In October 2018, Avenir issued a private placement of 99 million shares at a par price of $1.00 per share, which was successfully completed at a subscription price of $1.00 per share. Of the 99 million shares placed, we subscribed for 24.8 million shares, representing an investment of $24.8 million, or 25%. The investment is part of a combined commitment of up to $182.0 million from Stolt-Nielsen (an entity affiliated with one of our directors, Niels Stolt-Nielsen), Höegh and Golar for the pursuit of opportunities in small-scale LNG, including the delivery of LNG to areas of stranded gas demand, the development of LNG bunkering services and supply to the transportation sector. Following the initial equity offering Stolt-Nielsen, Höegh and Golar are committed to fund $72.0 million, of which our commitment is $18.0 million.

Avenir currently has four small-scale LNG newbuildings under construction at Keppel Singmarine in Nantong, China and another two on order from Sinopacific Offshore Engineering in Nantong, China. Avenir also holds 80% ownership in an LNG terminal and distribution facility under development in the Italian port of Oristano, Sardinia. Avenir is currently listed on the Norwegian OTC market. Subsequent to the placement of additional 11 million shares with other investors in November 2018, we and Höegh each currently hold a 22.5% share in Avenir, with Stolt-Nielsen holding 45%, and the remaining 10% being held by a group of institutional and other professional investors.

d.
OneLNG

In July 2016, Golar and Schlumberger B.V. ("Schlumberger") entered into an agreement to form OneLNG, a joint venture, with the intention to offer an integrated upstream and midstream solution for the development of low cost gas reserves to LNG. In accordance with the joint venture and shareholders' agreement, Golar holds 51% and Schlumberger the remaining 49% of OneLNG. The delays in finalizing a debt financing package for the Fortuna FLNG project, together with other capital and resource priorities, has resulted in a decision from Schlumberger to end their participation in the project. Golar and Schlumberger, as a result of this, have commenced the winding down of OneLNG and will work on FLNG projects as required on a case-by-case basis. As a result, we have written down our investment in OneLNG to $nil as at December 31, 2018.

Disposals

Since January 1, 2016, we have entered into the following sale and purchase transactions:

In May 2016, we sold our equity interests in the company ("Golar LNG NB13 Corporation") that is the disponent owner of the Golar Tundra and the related time charter for $330 million less the net lease obligations under the related lease agreement with China Merchant Bank Financial Leasing, or CMBL, plus other purchase price adjustments. At the time of sale, the  Golar Tundra  was subject to a time charter with West Africa Gas Limited, or WAGL. Concurrent with the closing of the sale of Tundra Corp, we entered into an agreement with Golar Partners (as amended, the "Tundra Letter Agreement") which provided, among others, that in the event the Golar Tundra had not commenced service under the

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charter with WAGL by May 23, 2017, Golar Partners had the option (the "Tundra Put Right") to require us to repurchase Tundra Corp at a price equal to the original purchase price (the "Tundra Put Sale"). The Golar Tundra's project made limited progress and, on May 30, 2017, Golar Partners elected to exercise the Tundra Put Right.

In connection with the exercise of the Tundra Put Right, we and Golar Partners entered into an agreement pursuant to which we agreed to purchase Tundra Corp from Golar Partners on the date of the closing of the Tundra Put Sale (the "Put Sale Closing Date") for an amount equal to $107 million (the "Deferred Purchase Price") plus an additional amount equal to 5% per annum of the Deferred Purchase Price (the "Additional Amount"). The Deferred Purchase Price and the Additional Amount were due and payable by us on the earlier of (a) the date of the closing of the Hilli Disposal and (b) March 31, 2018. Golar Partners agreed to accept the Deferred Purchase Price and the Additional Amount in lieu of a cash payment on the Put Sale Closing Date in return for an option (which Golar Partners have exercised) to purchase an interest in the Hilli Episeyo ; and

On July 12, 2018 (the "Closing Date"), we and the affiliates of Keppel and Black & Veatch Corporation, completed the Hilli Disposal to Golar Partners of common units in our consolidated subsidiary Hilli LLC (the "Hilli Common Units"), which owns Hilli Corp, the disponent owner of Hilli Episeyo (the " Hilli "). The selling price for the Hilli Disposal was $658 million, less 50% of our net lease obligations under the Hilli Facility on the Closing Date and working capital adjustments. On August 15, 2017, concurrently with our entry into the purchase and sale agreement for the Hilli Disposal (the "Hilli Sale Agreement"), we received a deposit from Golar Partners, which, together with accrued interest, equaled $71.9 million on the Closing Date (the "Hilli deposit"), combined with Golar Partners’ payment for its exercise of the Tundra Put Right, which, together with accrued interest, equaled $110.1 million on the Closing Date (the "Deferred Purchase Price"). We applied the Hilli Deposit, the Deferred Purchase Price and interest accrued thereon as payment for the Hilli Disposal. Please see note 6 "Disposal of Long Lived Assets" of our consolidated financial statements included herein.

In addition:

In connection with the formation of the Golar Power joint venture, we contributed to it our former subsidiaries that: (i) owned the  Golar Penguin  and the  Golar Celsius; (ii) held the FSRU newbuilding contract with Samsung, which was subsequently delivered and named Golar Nanook ; and (iii) held the rights to participate in the Sergipe Project. Subsequently in July 2016, we received net proceeds of $113 million from our sale to Stonepeak of 50% of the ordinary share capital of Golar Power. Accordingly, effective from the date of the sale to Stonepeak, we deconsolidated the results and net assets of Golar Power.

Since January 1, 2016, we have also refinanced certain of our vessels pursuant to sale and leaseback arrangements as further described in note 5 "Variable Interest Entities" of our consolidated financial statements included herein.

B.      Business Overview

Our Business Strategy

Golar’s vision is to break the mold in LNG. Our strategic intent is to become an integrated gas to power energy business. We aim to combine our marine expertise and innovative floating LNG assets with strong industry partnerships to provide the most competitive LNG solution to monetize natural gas reserves and deliver LNG, ship the LNG, regasify the LNG through our FSRUs, and ultimately generate and sell power from our gas-fired power stations.

Our four areas of strategic focus are to:

Operate a high-quality, first class LNG carrier fleet:  We own and operate a fleet of high quality LNG carriers with an average age of 6.4 years. Seven of our ten carriers were delivered within the last five years and utilize fuel efficient propulsion and low boil-off technology. Our vessels are compatible with most LNG loading and receiving terminals worldwide. We also manage carriers on behalf of our affiliate companies, Golar Partners and Golar Power. A potential separation or spin-off of our LNG shipping fleet is under consideration. This may reduce volatility in our future cash flows and better position our long-term contracting business for infrastructure investors.

Maintain leadership in FSRUs and embed this into future power projects through our affiliate, Golar Power:  We are one of the industry leaders in the development, delivery and operation of both newbuild and converted FSRUs based on a strong record of successful project delivery and highly reliable vessel operation. Our joint venture, Golar Power, is

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currently seeking new FSRU projects and power station opportunities in addition to building an integrated gas to power project at Sergipe in Brazil.

Capture new FLNG opportunities using our unique skills as a developer, owner and operator of FLNG vessels: Our FLNG investment proposition is built on a sound technical and commercial offering, derived from structurally lower unit capital costs and short lead times. FLNG allows smaller resource holders to enter the LNG business and occupy a legitimate space alongside the largest resource holders, major oil companies and world-scale LNG buyers. For established LNG industry participants, the prospect of our low-cost, low-risk, fast-track FLNG solution provides a compelling alternative to traditional land-based projects.

Leverage our affiliation with Golar Partners to monetize long-term midstream contracts:  We believe our affiliation with Golar Partners positions us to pursue a broader array of opportunities. Since the Partnership’s IPO in April 2011, we have sold six vessels to Golar Partners in exchange for consideration of $1.9 billion. In addition to this, we closed the sale of an interest in the Hilli Episeyo . We invested a substantial portion of the sale proceeds in newbuild and asset conversion projects that we expect will generate attractive returns over the coming years. As of March 15, 2019 , we have a 32.0% interest (including our 2% general partner interest) in Golar Partners and hold 100% of its IDRs.

However, we can provide no assurance that we will be able to implement our business strategies described above. For further discussion of the risks that we face, please read "Item 3. Key Information- D. Risk Factors".

The Liquefied Natural Gas ( LNG ) Industry

The need to transport natural gas over long distances across oceans led to the development of the international LNG trade. LNG shipping provides a cost-effective and safe means for transporting natural gas overseas. The LNG is transported overseas in specially built tanks on double-hulled ships to a receiving terminal, where it is offloaded and stored in heavily insulated tanks. In regasification facilities at the receiving terminal, the LNG is returned to its gaseous state (or regasified) and then carried by pipeline for distribution to power stations and other natural gas customers.

The following diagram displays the flow of natural gas and LNG from production to consumption.

LNG Supply Chain


LNGSUPPLYCHAINA04.JPG

The LNG supply chain involves the following components:


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Exploring and drilling: Natural gas is produced and transported via pipeline to natural gas liquefaction facilities located along the coast of the producing country. The advent of floating liquefaction also sees the gas being piped to offshore liquefaction facilities.

Production and liquefaction: Natural gas is cooled to a temperature of minus 162 degrees celsius, transforming the gas into a liquid, which reduces its volume to approximately 1/600th of its volume in a gaseous state. The reduced volume facilitates economical storage and transportation by ship over long distances, enabling countries with limited natural gas reserves, and limited access to long-distance transmission pipelines or concerns over security of supply to meet their demand for natural gas.

Shipping: LNG is loaded onto specially designed, double-hulled LNG carriers and transported overseas from the liquefaction facility to the receiving terminal.

Regasification: At the receiving terminal (either onshore or aboard FSRUs), the LNG is returned to its gaseous state, or regasified. It may also be transferred to small scale LNG vessels that deliver LNG to users nearby.

Storage, distribution, marketing & power generation: Once regasified, the natural gas is stored in specially designed facilities or transported to power producers and natural gas consumers via pipelines.

The basic costs of producing, liquefying, transporting and regasifying LNG are much higher than in an equivalent oil supply chain. This high unit cost of supply has, in the recent past, led to the pursuit of ever-larger land-based facilities in order to achieve improved economies of scale. To address the escalating costs, more cost competitive FLNG solutions across a spectrum of project sizes have been developed by a handful of major oil companies and also by Golar. We believe that many previously uneconomic pockets of gas can now be monetized and this will add to reserves and further underpin the long term attractiveness of gas.

Our Operations
We reported three reportable segments since 2017:

Vessel operations - We operate and subsequently charter out vessels on fixed terms to customers. We also provide technical vessel management services for our fleet as well as the fleets of Golar Partners and Golar Power.

FLNG - In 2014, we ordered our first FLNG based on the conversion of our existing LNG carrier, the Hilli. The Hilli FLNG conversion was completed and the vessel was accepted by the customer under the LTA. In February 2019 we entered into an agreement with BP for the charter of a FLNG, which will be converted from our existing LNG carrier, the Gimi , for a 20-year period expected to commence production in 2022. The Gimi was relocated from layup to Keppel Shipyard to proceed with the conversion.

Power - In July 2016, we entered into certain agreements forming a 50/50 joint venture, Golar Power, with private equity firm Stonepeak. Golar Power offers integrated LNG based downstream solutions, through the ownership and operation of a FSRU and associated terminal and power generation infrastructure.

Vessel Operations

As of March 15, 2019 , our current fleet comprises two LNG carriers undergoing or being contemplated for conversions into FLNGs, 10 LNG carriers and one FSRU.

LNG Carriers

LNG carriers are designed to transport LNG between liquefaction facilities and import terminals for regasification after the natural gas is liquefied. Our LNG carriers utilize the LNG that naturally boils off during transportation in their propulsion system.

According to Fearnleys, 33.6 metric tons of additional supply of LNG mainly from the United States will be available in 2019, much of which will be sold to the Far East. The associated increase in ton miles is expected to quickly absorb all available LNG carriers on the water. It has been estimated that the current global fleet of LNG carriers and those LNG carriers expected to be delivered in 2019 are insufficient to carry this expected new production. The market is currently expected to remain short of LNG carriers until the second half of 2021.

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FSRUs
 
Floating LNG regasification projects first emerged as a solution to the difficulties and protracted process of obtaining permits to build shore-based LNG reception facilities (especially along the North American coasts). Due to their offshore location, FSRU facilities are significantly less likely than onshore facilities to be met with resistance in local communities, which is especially important in the case of a facility that is intended to serve a highly populated area where there is a high demand for natural gas. As a result, it is typically easier and faster for FSRUs to obtain necessary permits than for comparable onshore facilities. FSRU projects can typically be completed in less time (2 to 3 years compared to 4 or more years for land based projects) and at a significantly lower cost (20-50% less) than land based alternatives. In addition, FSRUs offer a more flexible solution than land based terminals. They can be used as an LNG carrier, a regasification shuttle vessel or permanently moored as a FSRU. FSRUs offer a fast track regasification solution for markets that need immediate access to LNG supply. FSRUs can also be utilized as bridging solutions until a land-based terminal is constructed. In this way, FSRUs are both a replacement for, and complement to, land-based regasification alternatives.

A4BFREEZEPICTA01.JPG
FSRU Golar Freeze undergoing drydocking prior to deployment


The following table lists our current fleet of LNG carriers and FSRU as of March 15, 2019 :

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Vessel Name
 
Year of
Delivery
 
Capacity Cubic Meters
 
Flag
 
Type
 
Charterer/ Pool Arrangement
 
Current Charter Expiration
 
Charter Extension Options
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gimi (1) (5)
 
1976
 
125,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Moss
 
n/a
 
n/a
 
n/a
Gandria   (1)
 
1977
 
126,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Moss
 
n/a
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Arctic (2)
 
2003
 
140,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
n/a
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Viking (4)
 
2005
 
140,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
A major oil and gas company
 
2019
 
n/a
Golar Seal (3)
 
2013
 
160,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Crystal (3)
 
2014
 
160,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Bear (3)
 
2014
 
160,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Glacier
 
2014
 
162,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
A major Japanese trading company
 
2019
 
n/a
Golar Frost (3)
 
2014
 
160,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Snow (3)
 
2015
 
160,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Ice (3)
 
2015
 
160,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Kelvin (3)
 
2015
 
162,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
Golar Tundra (3)
 
2015
 
170,000
 
Marshall Islands
 
FSRU Membrane
 
Cool Pool
 
n/a
 
n/a
(1)
The  Gandria is currently in lay-up and earmarked for conversion into a FLNG vessel. The Gimi entered Keppel's shipyard in Singapore in early 2019 to commence her conversion into a FLNG. The conversion agreements for the Gimi and the Gandria are both subject to certain payments and lodging of a full Notice to Proceed.
(2)
Golar Arctic is currently not assigned to a charter.
(3)
As of March 15, 2019 , we have eight vessels operating in the Cool Pool. See "Cool Pool" below.
(4)
Golar Viking is currently serving a short-term contract, due to expire in December 2019. Golar has also entered into binding agreements with a Croatian project developer, LNG Hrvatska d.o.o., to convert the 2005 built Golar Viking into a FSRU, sell the converted vessel, and then operate and maintain the FSRU for a minimum of 10 years. Conversion capital expenditure will be predominantly funded by stage payments under the agreements. Commencement of this project is subject to certain conditions precedent, including confirmation of project funding and receipt of a Notice to Proceed from LNG Hrvatska d.o.o.
(5)
In February 2019, we entered into a 20 year Lease and Operate Agreement with BP for the charter of a FLNG unit, the Gimi , to service the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project. These and other agreements are subject to certain conditions precedent which if not satisfied, or waived by the customer, may result in termination prior to or after employment commences.

Vessel Operations Revenue

During the year ended December 31, 2018 , we received the majority of our vessel operations revenue from the Cool Pool.
    
a. Cool Pool

In October 2015, we entered into an LNG carrier pooling arrangement with GasLog Carriers Ltd ("GasLog") and Dynagas Ltd ("Dynagas") to market our vessels operating in the LNG shipping spot market. In June 2018, Dynagas exited the pooling arrangement. As of December 31, 2018, the Cool Pool comprised of 16 vessels, of which eight vessels were contributed by us, six vessels by GasLog and two vessels by Golar Power. The vessel owner continues to be fully responsible for the manning and technical management of their respective vessels. For the operation of the Cool Pool, a Marshall Islands service company ("Pool Manager") was established in September 2015. The Pool Manager is jointly owned and controlled by us and GasLog.

The Cool Pool allows the Pool Participants to optimize the operation of the pool vessels through improved scheduling ability, cost efficiencies and common marketing. The objective of the Cool Pool is to serve the transportation requirements of the LNG shipping market by providing customers with reliable, more flexible, and innovative solutions to meet their increasingly complex shipping requirements.

The Pool Agreement provides for the Cool Pool to focus exclusively on charters of 12 months' duration or less. Scheduling the employment of a vessel in excess of 12 months remains the mandate of the respective Pool Participant. If a pool vessel is chartered by a Pool Participant for a charter that exceeds 12 months in duration (or the Pool Participant has agreed to sell the vessel), such vessel may be withdrawn from the Cool Pool provided a minimum commitment period (described below) has passed, the Pool Participant provides 30 days’ notice and such vessel generally satisfies any outstanding charter commitment.

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Under the Pool Agreement, the Pool Manager is responsible, as agent, for the marketing and chartering of the participating vessels and paying other voyage costs such as port call expenses and brokers' commissions in relation to employment contracts, but each of the Pool Participants continues to be fully responsible for the financing, insurance, manning and technical management of their respective vessels. For its services, the Pool Manager receives a fee equal to 10 percent of the costs and overhead of the Cool Pool. Pool earnings (gross earnings of the pool less costs and overhead of the Cool Pool and fees to the Pool Manager) are aggregated and then allocated to the Pool Participants in accordance with the number of days each of their vessels are entered into the pool during the period.

The Pool Participants have agreed to participate in the Cool Pool for an extended minimum commitment period to October 2019. After this date, each Pool Participant may terminate its participation in the Cool Pool, provided the Pool Manager is allowed 30 days to complete any charter negotiations and such Pool Participant’s vessels satisfy any charter commitments.

b. Management Services

Golar Management, our wholly-owned subsidiary which has its primary offices in London, Oslo, Kuala Lumpur and Split, provides commercial, operational and technical support, crew management services and supervision and accounting and treasury services to our, Golar Partners’ and Golar Power's vessels. In addition, under the management and administrative services agreements we have entered into with Golar Partners and Golar Power, certain officers and directors of Golar Management provide executive officer functions for their benefit. In addition, the administrative services provided by Golar Management include: (i) assistance in commercial management; (ii) execution of business strategies of Golar Partners and Golar Power; (iii) bookkeeping, audit and accounting services; (iv) legal and insurance services; (v) administrative and clerical services; (vi) banking and financial services; (vii) advisory services; (viii) client and investor relations; and (viii) integration of any acquired business.

Golar Management is reimbursed for reasonable costs and expenses it incurs in connection with the provision of these services. In addition, Golar Management receives a management fee equal to 5% of its costs and expenses incurred in connection with providing these services. Parties may terminate the management and administrative services agreement by providing 120 days written notice.

FLNG

Compared to onshore terminals, the FLNG regasification industry is fairly young. FLNG projects are a solution for stranded reserves (such as lean gas sourced from offshore fields) for which geographical, technical and economic limitations restrict the ability to convert these gas reserves to LNG. In addition, FLNGs offer a more viable economic solution to the traditional giant land-based projects as they are able to be re-deployed. Golar’s liquefaction solution places liquefaction technology on board an existing LNG carrier using a rapid low-cost execution model resulting in a vessel conversion time of approximately three years. Golar was also the first company to enter into an agreement for the long-term employment of a FLNG based on the conversion of an existing LNG carrier.

The following table lists our FLNG as of March 15, 2019 :
Vessel Name
 
Year of
Delivery
 
Capacity
 
Flag
 
Type
 
Charterer/ Pool Arrangement
 
Current Charter Expiration
 
Charter Extension Options
Hilli Episeyo (1)
 
2017
 
2.4 mtpa
 
Marshall Islands
 
FLNG Moss
 
Perenco/SNH
 
2026
 
n/a
(1)
The Hilli Episeyo was converted into a FLNG from a LNG carrier which was originally constructed in 1975. She commenced her operations under the LTA with the Customer in May 2018. The existing LTA is for two of the four liquefaction trains and provides the Customer the option to increase liquefaction production.


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Hilli Episeyo
HILLIA04.JPG
FLNG Hilli Episeyo shortly before departure from Singapore


The Hilli Episeyo conversion was completed in October 2017 and she arrived in Cameroon on November 20, 2017. We tendered her notice of readiness on December 3, 2017 upon completion of pre-commissioning activities, starting the commissioning period. The Hilli Episeyo started earning commissioning payments at a reduced rate from January 4, 2018. First LNG was produced from the Hilli Episeyo in mid-March. The Hilli Episeyo completed her commissioning and was accepted by the customer in May 2018 (the “Acceptance Date”).
The LTA with the Customer was executed on November 29, 2017 and considered legally effective on December 19, 2017 when all conditions precedent were met.
Under the LTA, the Hilli Episeyo is scheduled to provide liquefaction services until the earlier of (i) eight years from the Acceptance Date, or (ii) the time of receipt and processing by the Hilli Episeyo of 500 billion cubic feet of feed gas. Under the terms of the LTA, the Hilli Episeyo is required to make available 1.2 million tonnes of liquefaction capacity per annum, this capacity will be spread evenly over the course of each contract year. The Customer will pay Hilli Corp a monthly tolling fee, which consists of a fixed element of hire and also an element related to the price of Brent crude oil where we receive incremental tolling fees when the price rises above $60.
The Customer has an option to require us to increase production to greater than 1.2 million tonnes per annum. The LTA provides certain termination rights to the Customer and Hilli Corp. The LTA provides for the payment by Hilli Corp of termination payments of up to $400 million (which reduces gradually as LNG production increases, reducing to $100 million once 3.6 million tonnes of LNG has been produced), $300 million of which is secured by a letter of credit, in the event of termination by Customer of Hilli Corp’s underperformance or non-performance. If the LTA is terminated by Hilli Corp in respect of a breach by the Customer prior to the second anniversary of the Acceptance Date, the Customer is obligated to pay Hilli Corp $500 million, with termination payments decreasing if the LTA is terminated after the second anniversary of the Acceptance Date.
On August 15, 2017, we entered into the Hilli Sale Agreement with Golar Partners for the Hilli Disposal from Golar and affiliates of Keppel and Black and Veatch of common units (the “Disposal Interests”) in Golar Hilli LLC. As of the closing on

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July 12, 2018, of the Hilli Disposal, Hilli LLC became indirectly (via its wholly owned subsidiary) the disponent owner of the Hilli Episeyo . The sale price for the Disposal Interests was $658 million less net lease obligations under the financing facility for the Hilli Episeyo (the “Hilli Facility”). Concurrently with the execution of the Hilli Sale Agreement, we received a further $70 million deposit from Golar Partners, upon which we pay interest at a rate of 5% per annum. Additionally, in connection with the closing of the Hilli Disposal, Golar Partners provided a several guarantee of 50% of Hilli Corp’s indebtedness under the Hilli Facility. Upon the closing of the Hilli Disposal, we, along with Keppel and Black and Veatch, sold 50% of the Disposal Interests to Golar Partners in return for the payment by Golar Partners of the net purchase price of $199.7 million.

Future FLNGs projects
    
a. BP Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project

In October 2014, we entered into agreements for the conversion of the Gimi into a FLNG. The primary vessel conversion contract was entered into with Keppel in December 2018. The Gimi was delivered to Keppel shipyard in Singapore in early 2019 to undergo initial works in connection with her conversion.

In February 2018 the Inter-Governmental Cooperation Agreement between Mauritania and Senegal was signed, enabling further development of the cross-border Tortue Ahmeyim natural gas field to continue. In April 2018, we entered into a Preliminary Agreement and exchanged Heads of Terms for a Charter Agreement with BP Mauritania Investments Ltd and BP Senegal Investments Ltd (together “BP") in their capacity as block operators. The Heads of Terms committed the parties to translate the terms into an agreement and proceed with Front End Engineering Design (“FEED”¨) on the provision of a FLNG vessel to support the development of Phase 1A of the Greater Tortue/Ahmeyin field, located offshore Mauritania and Senegal. In December 2018, we received a Limited Notice to Proceed from BP in connection with this project.

In February 2019, Golar entered into a Lease and Operate Agreement ("LOA") with BP for the charter of a FLNG unit, Gimi , to service the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project for a 20-year period expected to commence in 2022. The FLNG  Gimi  will liquefy gas as part of the first phase of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim Project and will be located at an innovative near-shore hub located on the Mauritania and Senegal maritime border. FLNG  Gimi  is designed to produce an average of approximately 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum, using the Black & Veatch "Prico" liquefaction process, with the total gas resources in the field estimated to be around 15 trillion cubic feet. Concurrent with entering into the LOA, we entered into a Subscription Agreement (subject to closing conditions) with First FLNG Holdings Pte. Ltd., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Capital, in respect of their participation in a 30% share of FLNG  Gimi

b. Delfin LNG

Progress continues to be made on development of the first FLNG for the US Gulf of Mexico "Delfin LNG" project. When connected to Delfin's existing pipeline infrastructure, Golar's FLNG could deliver a low cost liquefaction solution in North America giving Delfin and Golar an early mover advantage marketing a relatively small parcel of LNG into a demand driven market. Work continues to establish the right gas supply and offtake combination to enable a financing and yard commitment before the end of 2019.

Power

In June 2016, we entered into certain agreements forming a 50/50 joint venture, Golar Power, with investment vehicles affiliated with the private equity firm Stonepeak. The purpose of Golar Power is to offer integrated LNG based downstream solutions through the ownership and operation of FSRUs and associated terminal and power generation infrastructure.

In October 2016, Golar Power took its Final Investment Decision on the Porto de Sergipe Project, enabling CELSE to enter into a lump sum full turn-key EPC agreement with General Electric to build, maintain and operate the 1.5GW combined cycle power plant in Sergipe, Brazil. The power plant is scheduled to deliver power to 26 committed off-takers for 25 years from 2020.

The construction of the Sergipe power plant remains on track for commencement of operations in early 2020.

Further FSRU-power opportunities are being pursued in by Golar Power in Brazil and elsewhere. License approvals for projects are making good progress, including a recently gazetted Barcarena project. These licenses put Golar Power in a strong position to develop FSRU terminal projects, to win future power auctions, and to distribute LNG locally.

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Competition

We operate in markets that are highly competitive and based primarily on supply and demand. As the FSRU market continues to grow and mature there are new competitors entering the market. A number of our competitors have also ordered FSRUs. Expectations of rapid growth in the FSRU market has also given owners the confidence to place orders for FSRUs before securing charters. This has led to more competition for mid- and long-term FSRU charters.

Competition for these charters is based primarily on price, operational track record, LNG storage capacity, efficiency of the regasification process, vessel availability, size, age and condition of the vessel, relationships with LNG carrier users and reputation of the operator. In addition, FSRUs may operate as LNG carriers during periods of increased FSRU competition.
 
The FLNG industry is in an early stage of development, and we do not currently face significant competition from other providers of FLNG services. There are currently only two operating FLNGs in the world. We anticipate that other companies, including marine transportation companies with strong reputations and extensive resources and experience, will enter the FLNG industry at some point in the future, resulting in greater competition.

Seasonality

Historically, LNG trade, and therefore charter rates, increased in the winter months and eased in the summer months as demand for LNG for heating in the Northern Hemisphere rose in colder weather and fell in warmer weather. In general, the LNG vessel industry, has become less dependent on the seasonal transport of LNG than a decade ago. The advent of FSRUs has opened up new markets and uses for LNG, spreading consumption more evenly over the year. There is a higher seasonal demand during the summer months due to energy requirements for air conditioning in some markets or reduced availability of hydro power in others and a pronounced higher seasonal demand during the winter months for heating in other markets. There is however a tendency for a weaker vessel market in the periods between winter and summer.

Vessel Maintenance

Safety is our top operational priority. Our vessels are operated in a manner intended to protect the safety and health of our employees, the general public and the environment. We actively manage the risks inherent in our business and are committed to eliminating incidents that threaten safety, such as groundings, fires and collisions. We are also committed to reducing emissions and waste generation. We have established key performance indicators to facilitate regular monitoring of our operational performance. We set targets on an annual basis to drive continuous improvement, and we review performance indicators monthly to determine if remedial action is necessary to reach our targets. 

Under our charters, we are responsible for the technical management of the vessels which our subsidiaries assist us by managing our vessel operations, maintaining a technical department to monitor and audit our vessel manager operations and providing expertise in various functions critical to our operations. This affords an efficient and cost effective operation and, pursuant to administrative services agreements with certain of our subsidiaries, access to human resources, financial and other administrative functions.

These functions are supported by on board and onshore systems for maintenance, inventory, purchasing and budget management. In addition, our day-to-day focus on cost control will be applied to our operations. To some extent, the uniform design of some of our vessels and the adoption of common equipment standards should also result in operational efficiencies, including with respect to crew training and vessel management, equipment operation and repair, and spare parts ordering.

Risk of Loss, Insurance and Risk Management

The operation of any vessel, including LNG carriers and FSRUs, has inherent risks. These risks include mechanical failure, personal injury, collision, property loss, vessel or cargo loss or damage and business interruption due to political circumstances in foreign countries and/or war risk situations or hostilities. In addition, there is always an inherent possibility of marine disaster, including explosion, spills and other environmental mishaps, and the liabilities arising from owning and operating vessels in international trade. We believe that our present insurance coverage is adequate to protect us against the accident related risks involved in the conduct of our business and that we maintain appropriate levels of environmental damage and pollution insurance coverage consistent with standard industry practice. However, not all risks can be insured, and there can be no guarantee that any specific claim will be paid, or that we will always be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates.


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We have obtained hull and machinery insurance on all our vessels against marine and war risks, which include the risks of damage to our vessels, salvage or towing costs, and also insure against actual or constructive total loss of any of our vessels. However, our insurance policies contain deductible amounts for which we will be responsible. We have also arranged additional total loss coverage for each vessel. This coverage, which is called hull interest and freight interest coverage, provides us additional coverage in the event of the total loss of a vessel.

We have also obtained loss of hire insurance to protect us against loss of income in the event one of our vessels cannot be employed due to damage that is covered under the terms of our hull and machinery insurance. Under our loss of hire policies, our insurer will pay us the daily rate agreed in respect of each vessel for each day, in excess of a certain number of deductible days, for the time that the vessel is out of service as a result of damage. The maximum coverage varies from 180 days to 360 days, depending on the vessel. The number of deductible days varies from 14 days to 60 days, depending on the vessel and type of damage; machinery or hull damage.

Protection and indemnity insurance, which covers our third-party legal liabilities in connection with our shipping activities, is provided by mutual protection and indemnity associations, or P&I clubs. This includes third-party liability and other expenses related to the injury or death of crew members, passengers and other third-party persons, loss or damage to cargo, claims arising from collisions with other vessels or from contact with jetties or wharves and other damage to other third-party property, including pollution arising from oil or other substances, and other related costs, including wreck removal. Subject to the capping discussed below, our coverage, except for pollution, is unlimited.

The current protection and indemnity insurance coverage for pollution is $250 million per incident for the Hilli Episeyo and $1 billion per vessel per incident for all other vessels. The thirteen P&I clubs that comprise the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs insure approximately 90% of the world's commercial tonnage and have entered into a pooling agreement to reinsure each association's liabilities. Each P&I club has capped its exposure in this pooling agreement so that the maximum claim covered by the pool and its reinsurance would be approximately $8.2 billion per accident or occurrence. We are a member of Gard and Skuld P&I Clubs. As a member of these P&I clubs, we are subject to a call for additional premiums based on the clubs' claims record, as well as the claims record of all other members of the P&I clubs comprising the International Group. However, our P&I clubs have reinsured the risk of additional premium calls to limit our additional exposure. This reinsurance is subject to a cap, and there is the risk that the full amount of the additional call would not be covered by this reinsurance.

The insurers providing the hull and machinery, hull and cargo interests, protection and indemnity and loss of hire insurances have confirmed that they will consider FSRUs as vessels for the purpose of providing insurance. For the FSRUs we have also arranged an additional comprehensive general liability insurance. This type of insurance is common for offshore operations and is additional to the P&I insurance.

We will use in our operations our thorough risk management program that includes, among other things, computer-aided risk analysis tools, maintenance and assessment programs, a seafarers' competence training program, seafarers' workshops and membership in emergency response organizations. We expect to benefit from our commitment to safety and environmental protection as certain of our subsidiaries assist us in managing our vessel operations. GMN, received its ISO 9001 certification in April 2011, and is certified in accordance with the IMO's International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention, or ISM, on a fully integrated basis.

Classification, Inspection and Maintenance
 
Every large, commercial seagoing vessel must be “classed” by a classification society. A classification society certifies that a vessel is “in class,” signifying that the vessel has been built and maintained in accordance with the rules of the vessel's country of registry and the international conventions of which that country is a member. In addition, where surveys are required by international conventions and corresponding laws and ordinances of a flag state, the classification society will undertake them on application or by official order, acting on behalf of the authorities concerned.
 
For maintenance of the class certificate, regular and extraordinary surveys of hull, machinery, including the electrical plant and any special equipment classed, are required to be performed by the classification society, to ensure continuing compliance.  Vessels are drydocked at least once during a five-year class cycle for inspection of the underwater parts and for repairs related to inspections. If any defects are found, the classification surveyor will issue a “recommendation” which must be rectified by the shipowner within prescribed time limits. The classification society also undertakes on request of the flag state other surveys and checks that are required by the regulations and requirements of that flag state. These surveys are subject to agreements made in each individual case and/or to the regulations of the country concerned.


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Most insurance underwriters make it a condition for insurance coverage that a vessel be certified as "in class" by a classification society, which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies. Golar Arctic , Golar Frost , Golar Viking and Golar Bear are certified by the American Bureau of Shipping. All of our other vessels are certified by Det Norske Veritas GL. All three societies are members of the International Association of Classification Societies. All of our vessels have been awarded ISM certification and are currently "in class" other than two LNG carriers, the Gimi and the Gandria , with the Gimi recently removed from lay-up and delivered to Keppel's shipyard in Singapore to commence generic work in readiness for her conversion into a FLNG, and the Gandria is currently layed up.

We carry out inspections of the vessels on a regular basis; both at sea and while the vessels are in port. The results of these inspections, which are conducted both in port and while underway, result in a report containing recommendations for improvements to the overall condition of the vessel, maintenance, safety and crew welfare. Based in part on these evaluations, we create and implement a program of continual maintenance and improvement for our vessels and their systems.

Environmental and Other Regulations

General
 
Our business and the operation of our vessels are subject to various international treaties and conventions and to the applicable local national and subnational laws and regulations of the countries in which our vessels operate or are registered. These local laws and regulations might require us to obtain governmental permits and authorizations before we may conduct certain activities. Failure to comply with these laws or to obtain the necessary business and technical licenses could result in sanctions including suspension and/or freezing of the business and responsibility for all damages arising from any violation.

The local governments may also periodically revise their environmental laws and regulations or adopt new ones, and the effects of new or revised laws and regulations on our operations cannot be predicted. Although we believe that we are substantially in compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations and have all permits, licenses and certificates required for our vessels, future non-compliance or failure to maintain necessary permits or approvals could require us to incur substantial costs or temporarily suspend the operation of one or more of our vessels. There can be no assurance that additional significant costs and liabilities will not be incurred to comply with such current and future laws and regulations, or that such laws and regulations will not have a material effect on our operations.

International environmental treaties and conventions and U.S. environmental laws and regulations that apply to the operation of our vessels are described below. Other countries in which we operate or in which our vessels are registered have or may in the future have laws and regulations that are similar in nature to the U.S. laws referenced below. GMN provides technical management services for our vessels, is certified in accordance with the IMO standard for ISM and operates in compliance with the International Standards Organization (“ISO”) Environmental Management Standard for the management of significant environmental aspects associated with the ownership and operation of our fleet. 

International Maritime Regulations of LNG Vessels
 
The IMO provides international regulations governing shipping and international maritime trade. Among other requirements, Chapter IX of SOLAS, the International Safety Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention ("the ISM Code") requires the party with operational control of a vessel to develop an extensive safety management system and the adoption of a policy for safety and environmental protection setting forth instructions and procedures for operating its vessels safely and also describing procedures for responding to emergencies. Our ship manager holds a document of compliance under the ISM Code for operation of Gas Carriers.
 
Vessels that transport gas, including LNG carriers and FSRUs, are also subject to the International Gas Carrier Code (“IGC”) which provides a standard for the safe carriage of LNG and certain other liquid gases by prescribing the design and construction standards of vessels involved in such carriage. Each of our vessels is in compliance with the IGC Code and each of our new buildings/conversion contracts requires that the vessel receive certification that it is in compliance with applicable regulations before it is delivered.
 
The IMO also promulgates ongoing amendments to SOLAS which provides rules for the construction of and equipment required for commercial vessels and includes regulations for safe operation. It requires the provision of lifeboats and other life-saving appliances, requires the use of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System which is an international radio equipment and watch keeping standard, afloat and at shore stations, and relates to the International Convention on the Standards of Training and Certification of Watchkeeping Officers (“STCW”) also promulgated by the IMO. The SOLAS and other IMO regulations concerning safety, including those relating to treaties on training of shipboard personnel, lifesaving appliances, radio equipment

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and the global maritime distress and safety system, are applicable to our operations. Flag states that have ratified the SOLAS and STCW generally employ the classification societies, which have incorporated the SOLAS and STCW requirements into their class rules, to undertake surveys to confirm compliance.
 
 In the wake of increased worldwide security concerns, the IMO amended SOLAS and added the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (“ISPS Code”), which came into effect on July 1, 2004, to detect security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting vessels or port facilities. GMN has developed security plans and appointed and trained ship and office security officers. In addition, all of our vessels have been certified to meet the ISPS Code and the security requirements of the SOLAS and the Maritime Transportation Security Act (“MTSA”). 

The United States Coast Guard ("USCG") regulations, intended to align with international maritime security standards, exempt non-U.S. vessels from MTSA vessel security measures, provided such vessels have on board a valid International Ship Security Certificate that attests to the vessel’s compliance with the SOLAS Convention security requirements and the ISPS Code. To implement certain portions of the MTSA, the USCG issued regulations requiring the implementation of certain security requirements aboard vessels operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and at certain ports and facilities, some of which are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the "EPA"). Future security measures could have a significant financial impact on us. GMN has developed security plans, appointed and trained ship and office security officers and all of our vessels have been certified to meet the ISPS Code and the security requirements of the SOLAS and the MTSA.
 
The IMO continues to review and introduce new regulations. It is impossible to predict what additional regulations, if any, may be passed by the IMO and what effect, if any, such regulation may have on our operations. Non-compliance with the IGC Code or other applicable IMO regulations may subject a shipowner or a bareboat charterer to increased liability or penalties, may lead to decreases in available insurance coverage for affected vessels and may result in the denial of access to, or detention in, some ports.

Air Emissions
 
The IMO adopted MARPOL, which imposes environmental standards on the shipping industry relating to marine pollution, including oil spills, management of garbage, the handling and disposal of noxious liquids, sewage and air emissions. MARPOL is broken into six Annexes, each of which regulates a different source of pollution. Annex I relates to oil leakage or spilling and applies to various vessels delivered on or after August 1, 2010. It includes requirements for the protected location of the fuel tanks, performance standards for accidental oil fuel outflow, a tank capacity limit and certain other maintenance, inspection and engineering standards. IMO regulations also require owners and operators of vessels to adopt Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans. Periodic training and drills for response personnel and for vessels and their crews are required. Annexes II and III relate to harmful substances carried in bulk, in liquid or in packaged form, respectively, and Annexes IV and V relate to sewage and garbage management, respectively.

MARPOL Annex VI regulations for the “Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships”, adopted in September 2017, apply to all vessels, fixed and floating drilling rigs and other floating platforms. Annex VI sets limits on sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from vessel exhausts, emissions of volatile compounds from cargo tanks, incineration of specific substances, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances. Annex VI also includes a global cap on sulfur content of fuel oil and allows for special areas to be established with more stringent controls on sulfur emissions. The certification requirements for Annex VI depend on size of the vessel and time of the periodic classification survey. Ships weighing more than 400 gross tons and engaged in international voyages involving countries that have ratified the conventions, or vessels flying the flag of those countries, are required to have an International Air Pollution Certificate (“IAPP Certificate”). Annex VI came into force in the United States on January 8, 2009. All our vessels delivered or drydocked since May 19, 2005 have been issued IAPP Certificates.
 
 Amendments to Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention that took effect in 2010 require progressively stricter limitations on sulfur emissions from vessels. As of January 1, 2012, fuel used to power vessels may contain no more than 3.5% sulfur for areas outside of designated emission control areas (“ECAs”). This cap will then decrease progressively until it reaches 0.5% on January 1, 2020. The amendments also establish new tiers of stringent nitrogen oxide emissions standards for new marine engines, depending on their date of installation. The European directive 2005/33/EC bans the use of fuel oils containing more than 0.10% sulfur by mass by any merchant vessel while at berth in any EU country. Our vessels have achieved compliance, where necessary, by being modified to burn gas only in their boilers when alongside a berth. Except for one of Golar Partners' vessels , we have modified the boilers on all our vessels to also allow operation on low sulfur diesel oil, or LSDO.
 
More stringent emission standards could apply in coastal areas designed as “Emission Control Areas” (“ECAs”), such as the United States and Canadian coastal areas designated by the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee ("MEPC"), as discussed in “U.S. Clean Air Act” below. These areas include certain coastal areas of North America and the United States

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Caribbean Sea. Annex VI Regulation 14, which came into effect on January 1, 2015, set a 0.10% sulfur limit in areas of the Baltic Sea, North Sea, North America and United States Caribbean Sea ECAs. Ocean-going vessels operating in these areas will be subject to stringent emission controls that may cause us to incur additional costs. The approval of other ECAs or other stringent requirements relating to emissions from marine diesel engines or port operations by vessels may require significant capital expenditures for compliance.

Amended Annex VI also establishes new tiers of stringent nitrogen oxide emissions standards for marine diesel engines, depending on their date of installation. At the MEPC meeting held from March to April 2014, amendments to Annex VI were adopted which address the date on which Tier III Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) standards in ECAs will go into effect. Under the amendments, Tier III NOx standards apply to ships that operate in the North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea ECAs designed for the control of NOx produced by vessels with a marine diesel engine installed and constructed on or after January 1, 2016. Tier III requirements could apply to areas that will be designated for Tier III NOx in the future. At MEPC 70 and MEPC 71, the MEPC approved the North Sea and Baltic Sea as ECAs for nitrogen oxide for ships built after January 1, 2021. The EPA promulgated equivalent (and in some senses stricter) emissions standards in late 2009. As a result of these designations or similar future designations, we may be required to incur additional operating or other costs.

As determined at the MEPC 70, the new Regulation 22A of MARPOL Annex VI became effective as of March 1, 2018 and requires ships above 5,000 gross tonnage to collect and report annual data on fuel oil consumption to an IMO database, with the first year of data collection commencing on January 1, 2019. The IMO intends to use such data as the first step in its roadmap (through 2023) for developing its strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships, as discussed further below.

Additional or new conventions, laws and regulations may be adopted that could require the installation of expensive emission control systems. Because our vessels are largely powered by means other than fuel oil we do not anticipate that any emission limits that may be promulgated will require us to incur any material costs for the operation of our vessels, but that possibility cannot be eliminated.

Safety Management System Requirements
Under the ISM Code our operations are also subject to environmental standards and requirements. The ISM Code requires the party with operational control of a vessel to develop an extensive safety management system that includes, among other things, the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for operating its vessels safely and describing procedures for responding to emergencies. We rely upon the safety management system that we and our technical management team have developed for compliance with the ISM Code. The failure of a vessel owner or bareboat charterer to comply with the ISM Code may subject such party to increased liability, may decrease available insurance coverage for the affected vessels and may result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports.

The ISM Code requires that vessel operators obtain a safety management certificate for each vessel they operate. This certificate evidences compliance by a vessel’s management with the ISM Code requirements for a safety management system. No vessel can obtain a safety management certificate unless its manager has been awarded a document of compliance, issued by each flag state, under the ISM Code. We have obtained applicable documents of compliance for our offices and safety management certificates for all of our vessels for which the certificates are required by the IMO. The document of compliance and safety management certificate are renewed as required.

Amendments to SOLAS Chapter VII apply to vessels transporting dangerous goods and require those vessels be in compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (“IMDG Code”). Effective January 1, 2018, the IMDG Code includes (1) updates to the provisions for radioactive material, reflecting the latest provisions from the International Atomic Energy Agency, (2) new marking, packing and classification requirements for dangerous goods, and (3) new mandatory training requirements.
 
The IMO's Maritime Safety Committee and MEPC, respectively, each adopted relevant parts of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Water (the “Polar Code”). The Polar Code, which entered into force on January 1, 2017, covers design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue as well as environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the waters surrounding the two poles. It also includes mandatory measures regarding safety and pollution prevention as well as recommendatory provisions. The Polar Code applies to new ships constructed after January 1, 2017, and after January 1, 2018, ships constructed before January 1, 2017 are required to meet the relevant requirements by the earlier of their first intermediate or renewal survey.

Furthermore, recent action by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee and United States agencies indicate that cybersecurity regulations for the maritime industry are likely to be further developed in the near future in an attempt to combat

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cybersecurity threats. For example, cyber-risk management systems must be incorporated by ship-owners and managers by 2021. This might cause companies to create additional procedures for monitoring cybersecurity, which could require additional expenses and/or capital expenditures. The impact of such regulations is hard to predict at this time.

Anti-Fouling Requirements
Our vessels are subject to the IMO’s International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships, or the Anti-fouling Convention, which prohibits the use of organotin compound coatings to prevent the attachment of mollusks and other sea life to the hulls of vessels. Vessels of over 400 gross tons engaged in international voyages must obtain an International Anti-fouling System Certificate and undergo a survey before the vessel is put into service or when the anti-fouling systems are altered or replaced. We have obtained Anti-fouling System Certificates for all of our vessels, and we do not believe that maintaining such certificates will have an adverse financial impact on the operation of our vessels.

Oil Pollution Act and The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act
 
The U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA 90”) established an extensive regulatory and liability regime for environmental protection and clean up of oil spills. OPA 90 affects all owners and operators whose vessels trade with the United States or its territories or possessions, or whose vessels operate in the waters of the United States, which include the U.S. territorial waters and the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone of the United States. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) applies to the release or discharge of hazardous substances whether on land or at sea. While LNG is generally excluded from the current definition of "hazardous substances" under OPA 90 and CERCLA, these regulatory frameworks may nevertheless affect us because we carry oil as fuel and lubricants for our engines, and the release or discharge of these could cause an environmental hazard. Under OPA 90, vessel operators, including vessel owners, managers and bareboat or “demise” charterers, are “responsible parties” who are all liable regardless of fault, individually and as a group, for all containment and clean-up costs and other damages arising from oil spills from their vessels. These “responsible parties” would not be liable if the spill results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war. The other damages aside from clean-up and containment costs are defined broadly to include:
 
injury to, destruction or loss of, or loss of use of, natural resource and the costs of assessment thereof;
injury to, or economic losses resulting from, the destruction of real and personal property;
net loss of taxes, royalties, rents, fees or net profit revenues resulting from injury, destruction or loss of real or personal property, or natural resources;
loss of subsistence use of natural resources that are injured, destroyed or lost;
lost profits or impairment of earning capacity due to injury, destruction or loss of real or personal property or natural resources; and
net cost of increased or additional public services necessitated by removal activities following a discharge of oil, such as protection from fire, safety or health hazards.
 
The limits of OPA liability are the greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $18.8 million for any tanker other than single-hull tank vessels, over 3,000 gross tons (subject to possible adjustment for inflation) (relevant to ours and Golar’s LNG carriers). These limits of liability do not apply, however, where the incident is caused by violation of applicable U.S. federal safety, construction or operating regulations, or by the responsible party's gross negligence or willful misconduct. These limits likewise do not apply if the responsible party fails or refuses to report the incident or to cooperate and assist in connection with the substance removal activities. OPA specifically permits individual states to impose their own liability regimes with regard to oil pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries, and some states have enacted legislation providing for unlimited liability for discharge of pollutants within their waters. In some cases, states, which have enacted their own legislation, have not yet issued implementing regulations defining ship owners’ responsibilities under these laws.
 
CERCLA, which also applies to owners and operators of vessels, contains a similar liability regime and provides liability for releases of “hazardous substances”, including for clean up, removal and remedial costs, as well as damages for injury to, or destruction or loss of, natural resources, including the reasonable costs associated with assessing the same, and health assessments or health effect studies. Liability under CERCLA is limited to the greater of $300 per gross ton or $5.0 million for vessels carrying hazardous substances as cargo or residue, and the greater of $300 per gross ton or $500,000 for any other vessel. As with OPA, these limits of liability do not apply (rendering the responsible person liable for the total cost of response and damages) if the release or threat of release of a hazardous substance resulted from willful misconduct or negligence, or the primary cause of the release was a violation of applicable safety, construction or operating standards or regulations. The limitation on liability also does

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not apply if the responsible person fails or refused to provide all reasonable cooperation and assistance as requested in connection with response activities where the vessel is subject to OPA. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with OPA, CERCLA and all applicable state regulations in the ports where our vessels call.
 
OPA requires owners and operators of vessels to establish and maintain with the USCG evidence of financial responsibility sufficient to meet the limit of their potential strict liability under OPA/CERCLA. Under the regulations, evidence of financial responsibility may be demonstrated by insurance, surety bond, self-insurance or guaranty. Under OPA regulations, an owner or operator of more than one vessel is required to demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility for the entire fleet in an amount equal only to the financial responsibility requirement of the vessel having the greatest maximum liability under OPA/CERCLA. Each of our ship owning subsidiaries that has vessels trading in U.S. waters has applied for, and obtained from the U.S. Coast Guard National Pollution Funds Center three-year certificates of financial responsibility, or COFR, supported by guarantees which we purchased from an insurance based provider. We believe that we will be able to continue to obtain the requisite guarantees and that we will continue to be granted COFRs from the USCG for each of our vessels that is required to have one.
 
Compliance with any new requirements of OPA, or other laws or regulations, may substantially impact our cost of operations or require us to incur additional expenses to comply with any new regulatory initiatives or statutes. For example, in July 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement ("BSEE") finalized new regulations imposing well control requirements on offshore oil and gas drilling. However, this measure and others like it are being reevaluated by promulgating agencies pursuant to Executive Orders 13783 and 13795, which promote energy exploration and production. As part of this reevaluation, in May 2018, BSEE issued a proposal to revise or eliminate certain of the requirements under the 2016 well control rule. Additional legislation or regulation applicable to the operation of our vessels that may be implemented in the future could adversely affect our business and ability to make distributions to our unitholders.

 Bunker Convention/CLC State Certificate

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution 2001, or the Bunker Convention entered into force on November 21, 2008. The Convention provides a liability, compensation and compulsory insurance system for the victims of oil pollution damage caused by spills of bunker oil. The Convention imposes strict liability on ship owners (including the registered owner, bareboat charterer, manager or operator) for pollution damage (including the cost of preventive measures) caused in the territory, including the territorial sea of a State Party, as well as its economic zone or equivalent area. Registered owners of any sea going vessel and seaborne craft over 1,000 gross tonnage, of any type whatsoever, and registered in a State Party, or entering or leaving a port in the territory of a State Party, will be required to maintain insurance which meets the requirements of the Convention and to obtain a certificate issued by a State Party attesting that such insurance is in force. The State Party issued certificate must be carried on board at all times. P&I Clubs in the International Group issue the required Bunkers Convention “Blue Cards” to enable signatory states to issue certificates. All of our vessels have received “Blue Cards” from their P&I Club and are in possession of a Civil Liability Convention (CLC) State-issued certificate attesting that the required insurance cover is in force.

Ballast Water Management Convention, Clean Water Act and National Invasive Species Act
 
The IMO has negotiated international conventions that impose liability for pollution in international waters and the territorial waters of the signatories to such conventions. The EPA and USCG, have also enacted rules relating to ballast water discharge for all vessels entering or operating in United States waters. Compliance requires the installation of equipment on our vessels to treat ballast water before it is discharged or the implementation of other port facility disposal arrangements or procedures at potentially substantial cost, and/or otherwise restrict our vessels from entering United States waters.

a. Ballast Water Management Convention

In February 2004, the IMO adopted an International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (“BWM Convention”). The BWM Convention requires ships to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of new or invasive aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments. The implementing regulations call for a phased introduction of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements to be replaced in time with mandatory concentration limits. The BMW Convention entered into force on September 8, 2017, however IMO later decided to postpone the compliance date for existing vessels by 2 years, i.e. until the first renewal survey following September 8, 2019. Furthermore, in October 2014 the MEPC met and adopted additional resolutions concerning the BWM Convention’s implementation. Upon entry into force of the BWM Convention, mid-ocean ballast water exchange became mandatory for our vessels.


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On December 4, 2013, the IMO Assembly passed a resolution revising the application dates of BWM Convention so that the dates are triggered by the entry into force date and not the dates originally in the BWM Convention. This, in effect, makes all vessels delivered before the entry into force date “existing vessels” and allows for the installation of ballast water management systems on such vessels at the first International Oil Pollution Prevention (“IOPP”) renewal survey following entry into force of the convention. The MEPC adopted updated guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8) at MEPC 70. At MEPC 71, the schedule regarding the BWM Convention’s implementation dates was also discussed and amendments were introduced to extend the date existing vessels are subject to certain ballast water standards. At MEPC 72, the G8 guidelines were converted into a mandatory code for approval of ballast water management systems, which enters into force in October 2019. Ships over 400 gross tons generally must comply with a “D-1 standard,” requiring the exchange of ballast water only in open seas and away from coastal waters. The “D-2 standard” specifies the maximum amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged, and compliance dates vary depending on the IOPP renewal dates. For most ships, compliance with the D-2 standard will involve installing on-board systems to treat ballast water and eliminate unwanted organisms. Ballast Water Management systems, which include systems that make use of chemical, biocides, organisms or biological mechanisms, or which alter the chemical or physical characteristics of the ballast water, must be approved in accordance with IMO Guidelines (Regulation D-3). Costs of compliance with these regulations may be substantial.

Once mid-ocean ballast exchange ballast water treatment requirements become mandatory under the BWM Convention, the cost of compliance could increase for ocean carriers and may have a material effect on our operations. However, many countries already regulate the discharge of ballast water carried by vessels from country to country to prevent the introduction of invasive and harmful species via such discharges. The U.S., for example, requires vessels entering its waters from another country to conduct mid-ocean ballast exchange, or undertake some alternate measure, and to comply with certain reporting requirements.


b. Clean Water Act

The U.S. Clean Water Act (“CWA”) prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in U.S. navigable waters unless authorized by a duly-issued permit or exemption, and imposes strict liability in the form of penalties for any unauthorized discharges. The CWA also imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages and complements the remedies available under OPA and CERCLA. In addition, many U.S. states that border a navigable waterway have enacted environmental pollution laws that impose strict liability on a person for removal costs and damages resulting from a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance. These laws may be more stringent than U.S. federal law.

The EPA regulates the discharge of ballast and bilge water and other substances in United States waters under the CWA. The EPA regulations require vessels 79 feet in length or longer (other than commercial fishing vessels and recreational vessels) comply with a permit that regulates ballast water discharges and other discharges incidental to the normal operation of certain vessels within United States waters - the Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels, (“VGP”). In March 2013, the EPA re-issued the VGP. The 2013 VGP focuses on authorizing discharges incidental to operations of commercial vessels and contains ballast water discharge limits for most vessels to reduce the risk of invasive species in US waters, more stringent requirements for exhaust gas scrubbers and the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants. In December 2013, the EPA issued an enforcement response policy in connection with the new VGP in which the EPA indicated that it would take into account the reasons why vessels do not have the requisite technology installed, but will not grant any waivers. In December 2018, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) was signed into law and restructured the EPA and the USCG programs for regulating incidental discharges from vessels. Rather than requiring CWA permits, the discharges will be regulated under a new CWA Section 312(p) establishing Uniform National Standards for Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Vessels. Under VIDA, VGP provisions and existing USCG regulations will be phased out over a period of approximately four years and replaced with National Standards of Performance ("NSPs") to be developed by EPA and implemented and enforced by the USCG. Although the 2013 VGP was scheduled to expire in December 2018, under VIDA the provisions of the 2013 VGP will remain in place until the new regulations are in place.

c. National Invasive Species Act

The USCG regulations adopted under the U.S. National Invasive Species Act (“NISA”) require the USCG's approval of any technology before it is placed on a vessel. As a result, the USCG has provided waivers to vessels which could not install the then as-yet unapproved technology. In May 2016, the USCG published a review of the practicability of implementing a more stringent ballast water discharge standard. The results concluded that technology to achieve a

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significant improvement in ballast water treatment efficacy cannot be practically implemented. In February, 2016, the USCG issued a new rule amending the Coast Guard’s ballast water management record-keeping requirements. Effective February 22, 2016, vessels with ballast tanks operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single Captain of the Port zone were required to submit an annual report of their ballast water management practices. However, on September 19, 2018, the USCG published a final rule eliminating the requirement. Moreover, as discussed above, under VIDA, existing USCG ballast water management regulations will be phased out over a period of approximately four years and replaced with NSPs to be developed by EPA and implemented and enforced by the USCG.

Installation of ballast water treatments systems (“BWTS”), will be needed on all our LNG Carriers. As long as our FSRUs are operating as FSRUs and kept stationary they will not need installation of a BWTS. The additional costs of complying with these rules, relating to all our vessels, are estimated to be in the range of $1.8 million and $2.1 million per vessel and will be phased in over time in connection with the renewal surveys that are required. We have therefore decided to install BWTS on all our LNG Carriers on their first drydocking after 2017. The installation of the BWTS on the Golar Seal was completed in 2018.

Clean Air Act
 
The U.S. Clean Air Act of 1970 (“CAA”) requires the EPA to promulgate standards applicable to emissions of volatile organic compounds and other air contaminants. Our vessels are subject to vapor control and recovery requirements for certain cargos when loading, unloading, ballasting, cleaning and conducting other operations in regulated port areas and emission standards for so-called “Category 3” marine diesel engines operating in U.S. waters. The marine diesel engine emission standards are currently limited to new engines beginning with the 2004 model year. On April 30, 2010, the EPA promulgated final emission standards for Category 3 marine diesel engines equivalent to those adopted in the amendments to Annex VI to MARPOL. The emission standards apply in two stages: near-term standards for newly-built engines apply from 2011, and long-term standards requiring an 80% reduction in nitrogen dioxides, or NOx, apply from 2016. Compliance with these standards may cause us to incur costs to install control equipment on our vessels in the future.

International Labour Organization

The International Labor Organization (the “ILO”) is a specialized agency of the UN that has adopted the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (“MLC 2006”). A Maritime Labor Certificate and a Declaration of Maritime Labor Compliance is required to ensure compliance with the MLC 2006 for all ships above 500 gross tons in international trade. We believe that all our vessels are in substantial compliance with and are certified to meet MLC 2006.
 
Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
 
In February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol entered into force. Pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol, adopting countries are required to implement national programs to reduce emissions of certain gases, generally referred to as greenhouse gases, which are suspected of contributing to global warming. Currently, the emissions of greenhouse gases from international transport are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol. In December 2009, more than 27 nations, including the United States and China, signed the Copenhagen Accord, which includes a non-binding commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, in December 2011, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change adopted the Durban Platform which calls for a process to develop binding emissions limitations on both developed and developing countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change applicable to all Parties. The Paris Agreement, which resulted from the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, does not directly limit greenhouse gas emissions from vessels (e.g., there are no mandatory initiatives affecting the shipping industry in the Paris Agreement); however the IMO has agreed on a plan to reduce carbon emissions from marine vessels, as part of the shipping industry’s contribution to the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in April 2018 (see further discussion below).

In addition to the voluntary strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the United Nations climate process, our operations may be impacted by mandatory requirements imposed by the IMO. As of January 1, 2013, all vessels, including rigs and drillships, must comply with mandatory requirements adopted in July 2011 by the MEPC relating to greenhouse gas emissions, including the Energy Efficiency Design Index ("EEDI") and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan ("SEEMP"), which are technical and operational measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The regulations apply to all vessels of 400 gross tonnage and above. The IMO also adopted a mandatory requirement in October 2016 that ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above record and report their fuel oil consumption. The requirement entered into force in March 2018. These new rules will likely affect the operations of vessels that are registered in countries that are signatories to MARPOL Annex VI or vessels that call upon ports located within such countries. The implementation of the EEDI and SEEMP standards could cause us to incur additional compliance costs. The IMO is also considering the implementation of a market-based mechanism for greenhouse gas emissions from vessels.

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At MEPC 70 and MEPC 71, a draft outline of the structure of the initial strategy for developing a comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships was approved. In accordance with this roadmap, in April 2018, nations at the MEPC 72 adopted an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships. The initial strategy identifies “levels of ambition” to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including (1) decreasing the carbon intensity from ships through implementation of further phases of the EEDI for new ships; (2) reducing carbon dioxide emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008 emission levels; and (3) reducing the total annual greenhouse emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 while pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely. The initial strategy notes that technological innovation, alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieve the overall ambition. These regulations could cause us to incur additional substantial expenses.The EU made a unilateral commitment to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from its member states from 20% of 1990 levels by 2020. The EU also committed to reduce its emissions by 20% under the Kyoto Protocol’s second period from 2013 to 2020. Starting in January 2018, large ships calling at EU ports are required to collect and publish data on carbon dioxide emissions and other information.

The European Union has indicated that it intends to propose an expansion of the existing European Union emissions trading scheme to include emissions of greenhouse gases from marine vessels and in January 2012, the European Commission launched a public consultation on possible measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vessels. In April 2015, a regulation was adopted requiring that large vessels (over 5,000 gross tons) calling at European ports from January 2018 collect and publish data on carbon dioxide omissions.

Any passage of climate control legislation or other regulatory initiatives by the IMO, the EU, the U.S. or other countries where we operate, or any treaty adopted at the international level to succeed the Kyoto Protocol or Paris Agreement, that restricts emissions of greenhouse gases could require us to make significant financial expenditures that we cannot predict with certainty at this time. Even in the absence of climate control legislation, our business may be indirectly affected to the extent that climate change may result in sea level changes or certain weather events.

European Union Regulations

In October 2009, the European Union amended a directive to impose criminal sanctions for illicit ship-source discharges of polluting substances, including minor discharges, if committed with intent, recklessly or with serious negligence and the discharges individually or in the aggregate result in deterioration of the quality of water. Aiding and abetting the discharge of a polluting substance may also lead to criminal penalties. The directive applies to all types of vessels, irrespective of their flag, but certain exceptions apply to warships or where human safety or that of the ship is in danger. Criminal liability for pollution may result in substantial penalties or fines and increased civil liability claims. Regulation (EU) 2015/757 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 (amending EU Directive 2009/16/EC) governs the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport, and, as of January 1, 2018, subject to some exclusions, requires companies with ships over 5,000 gross tonnage to monitor and report carbon dioxide emissions annually, which may cause us to incur additional expenses.

The European Union has adopted several regulations and directives requiring, among other things, more frequent inspections of high-risk ships, as determined by type, age, and flag as well as the number of times the ship has been detained. The European Union also adopted and extended a ban on substandard ships and enacted a minimum ban period and a definitive ban for repeated offenses. The regulation also provided the European Union with greater authority and control over classification societies, by imposing more requirements on classification societies and providing for fines or penalty payments for organizations that failed to comply. Furthermore, the EU has implemented regulations requiring vessels to use reduced sulfur content fuel for their main and auxiliary engines. The EU Directive 2005/33/EC (amending Directive 1999/32/EC) introduced requirements parallel to those in Annex VI relating to the sulfur content of marine fuels. In addition, the EU imposed a 0.1% maximum sulfur requirement for fuel used by ships at berth in EU ports.

Other Regulations

Our LNG vessels may also become subject to the HNS Convention. The HNS Convention introduces strict liability for the ship owner and covers pollution damage as well as the risks of fire and explosion, including loss of life or personal injury and damage to property. HNS includes, among other things, liquefied natural gas.

    The April 2010 Protocol sets up a two-tier system of compensation composed of compulsory insurance taken out by ship owners and an HNS fund that comes into play when the insurance is insufficient to satisfy a claim or does not cover the

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incident. Under the 2010 Protocol, if damage is caused by bulk HNS, claims for compensation will first be sought from the ship owner up to a maximum of 100 million Special Drawing Rights, or SDR. SDR is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of the IMF members. If the damage is caused by packaged HNS or by both bulk and packaged HNS, the maximum liability is 115 million SDR. Once the limit is reached, compensation will be paid from the HNS Fund up to a maximum of 250 million SDR. The April 2010 Protocol has yet entered into effect as the required minimum number of consenting states has not been met. We cannot estimate the costs that may be needed to comply with any such requirements that may be adopted with any certainty at this time.

In June 2015 the IMO formally adopted the IGF Code, which is designed to minimize the risks involved with ships using low flashpoint fuels, including LNG. Compliance with the IGF Code is mandatory under SOLAS through adopted amendments. The IGF Code and the amendments to SOLAS became effective January 1, 2017.

C.            Organizational Structure

For a full list of our subsidiaries, please see Exhibit 8.1 to this annual report and note 4 "Subsidiaries" of our consolidated financial statements included herein. All of our subsidiaries are, directly or indirectly, wholly-owned by us except for Hilli LLC and Hilli Corp.

D.            Property, Plant and Equipment

For information on our fleet, please see the section of this item entitled "Vessel Operations".

We do not own any interest in real property. We lease approximately 10,700 square feet of office space in London, 32,000 square feet of office space in Oslo, for our ship management operations, 4,100 square feet of office space in Malaysia, 4,700 square feet of office space in Croatia and approximately 1,300 square feet of office space in Bermuda.

ITEM 4A.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 5.  OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the sections of this Annual Report entitled "Item 4. Information on the Company" and our audited financial statements and notes thereto, included herein. Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. This discussion includes forward-looking statements based on assumptions about our future business. You should also review the section of this Annual Report entitled "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Item 3. Key Information-D. Risk Factors" for a discussion of important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by certain forward-looking statements.

Overview and Background
    
Please see the section of this Annual Report entitled "Item 4. Information on the Company-B. Business Overview-The Natural Gas Industry" for further discussion of the LNG market.
 
Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations and Future Results

Our historical results of operations and cash flows may not be indicative of results of operations and our results may be principally affected for the following reasons:

Conversion of our vessels to FLNG.  The Gimi was delivered to Keppel's shipyard in early 2019 to commence her conversion into a FLNG. FLNG conversions require highly specialized contractors and are subject to risk of delay or default by shipyards. In the event the shipyards do not perform under these agreements and we are unable to enforce certain refund guarantees with third party banks, we may lose part or all of our investment.

Utilization of the Hilli's full capacity. The Hilli Episeyo is the world’s first converted FLNG vessel. FLNG vessels are complex and their operations are technically challenging and subject to mechanical risks. Accordingly, delays in contracting Train 3 and Train 4 capacity could adversely affect our financial performance.


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We, or our consolidated entities, may enter into different financing arrangements. Our current financing arrangements may not be representative of the arrangements we will enter into in the future. For example, we may amend our existing credit facilities or enter into other financing arrangements, which may be more expensive. In addition, by virtue of the sale and leaseback transactions we have entered into with certain lessor VIEs, where we are deemed to be the primary beneficiary of the VIEs, we are required by US GAAP to consolidate these VIEs into our results. Although consolidated into our results, we have no control over the funding arrangements negotiated by these lessor VIEs such as interest rates, maturity and repayment profiles. As of December 31, 2018, we consolidated lessor VIEs in connection with the lease financing transactions for eight of our vessels. Refer to note 5 "Variable Interest Entities" and note 22 "Debt" of our consolidated financial statements included herein.

Our results are affected by fluctuations in the fair value of our derivative instruments . The change in fair value of our derivative instruments is included in our net income. These changes may fluctuate significantly as interest rates, the price of our common shares or the price of commodities fluctuate. This includes changes in the fair value of the oil derivative instrument. Our Total Return Swap has a credit arrangement, whereby we are required to provide cash collateral on the initial acquisition price and to subsequently post additional cash collateral that corresponds to any further unrealized loss. Refer to note 27 “Financial Instruments” in our Consolidated Financial Statements. 

Our results will be dependent in part on the performance of the Cool Pool. We, along with GasLog and Golar Power, are in a Cool Pool arrangement to market our vessels which are currently operating in the LNG shipping spot market. As of March 15, 2019 , we had contributed eight (2017: eight) of the 16 vessels to the pool. Each of the vessel owners continues to be responsible for the manning and the technical management of its respective vessels. Our share of the net pool revenues will be dependent upon the performance of the Pool Manager in securing employment and negotiating rates for all of the pool vessels.

Our investment in joint ventures and affiliates may not result in anticipated profitability or generate cash flow sufficient to justify our investment . In November 2018, Golar Partners announced a distribution cut which failed to translate into an improved share price. Given the failure of the share price to recover and the sustained period of the suppressed share price, we recorded an other than temporary impairment charge of $149.4 million .

Please see the section of this Annual Report entitled “Item 3. Key Information-D. Risk Factors" for a discussion of certain risks inherent in our business.

Important Financial and Operational Terms and Concepts

We use a variety of financial and operational terms and concepts when analyzing our performance. These include the following:

Liquefaction services revenue. Liquefaction services revenue is generated from a LTA entered into with our customer. Our provision of liquefaction services capacity includes the receipt of the customer’s gas, treatment and temporary storage on board our FLNG, and delivery of LNG to waiting carriers. We recognize revenue when obligations under the terms of our contract are satisfied.

Operating revenues (including revenue from collaborative arrangement) .   Total operating revenues primarily refers to time and voyage charter revenues. We recognize revenues from time and voyage charters over the term of the charter as the applicable vessel operates under the charter. We do not recognize revenue during days when the vessel is off-hire, unless the charter agreement makes a specific exception. Operating revenues includes revenues from vessels engaged in collaborative arrangements, such as the Cool Pool. Specifically, for the Cool Pool, pool earnings (gross earnings of the pool less costs and overheads of the Cool Pool and fees to the Pool Manager) are aggregated and then allocated to the Pool Participants in accordance with the number of days each of their vessels are entered into the pool during the period.

Off-hire (including commercial waiting time).  Our vessels may be idle, that is, off-hire, for several reasons: scheduled drydocking or special survey or vessel upgrade or maintenance or inspection, which we refer to as scheduled off-hire; days spent waiting for a charter, which we refer to as commercial waiting time; and unscheduled repairs, maintenance, operational deficiencies, equipment breakdown, accidents, crewing strikes, certain vessel detentions or similar problems, or our failure to maintain the vessel in compliance with its specifications and contractual standards or to provide the required crew, which we refer to as unscheduled off-hire.


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Vessel and other management fees.  As part of our operations we provide various management and administrative services to our joint ventures and affiliates.

Voyage, charterhire expenses and commission expenses (including expenses from collaborative arrangement).  Voyage expenses, which are primarily fuel costs but which also include other costs such as port charges, are paid by our charterers under our time charters. However, we may incur voyage related expenses during off-hire periods when positioning or repositioning vessels before or after the period of a time charter or before or after drydocking. While a vessel is on-hire, fuel costs are typically paid by the charterer, whereas during periods of commercial waiting time, fuel costs are paid by us. Charterhire expenses refer to the cost of chartering-in vessels to our fleet and commissions relate to brokers' commissions. Furthermore, voyage, charterhire expenses and commission expenses includes related expenses attributable to vessels engaged in collaborative arrangements, such as the Cool Pool. In relation to the vessels participating in the Cool Pool, voyage expenses and commissions include a net allocation from the pool participants' vessels less the other participants' share of the net revenues earned by our vessels included in the Cool Pool.

Time charter equivalent earnings.  In order to compare vessels trading under different types of charters, it is standard industry practice to measure the revenue performance of a vessel in terms of average daily time charter equivalent earnings, or TCE. This is calculated by dividing time and voyage charter revenues (including those from collaborative arrangements, such as the Cool Pool), less any voyage expenses, by the number of calendar days minus days for scheduled off-hire. Where we are paid a fee to position or reposition a vessel before or after a time charter, this additional revenue, less voyage expenses, is included in the calculation of TCE. TCE is a non-U.S. GAAP financial measure. Please see the section of this Annual Report entitled “Item 3. Key Information-A. Selected Financial Data" for a reconciliation of TCE to our total operating revenues.

Vessel operating expenses . Vessel operating expenses include direct vessel operating costs associated with operating a vessel, such as crew wages, which are the most significant component, vessel supplies, routine repairs, maintenance, lubricating oils, insurance and management fees for the provision of commercial and technical management services.

Depreciation and amortization.  Depreciation and amortization expense, or the periodic cost charged to our income for the reduction in usefulness and long-term value of our vessels, is related to the number of vessels we own or operate under long-term capital leases. We depreciate the cost of our owned vessels, less their estimated residual value, and amortize the amount of our capital lease assets over their estimated economic useful lives, on a straight-line basis. We amortize our deferred drydocking costs generally over five years based on each vessel's next anticipated drydocking.

Administrative expenses.  Administrative expenses are comprised of general overhead, including personnel costs, legal and professional fees, property costs and other general administration expenses. Included within administrative expenses are pension and share option expenses. Pension expense includes costs associated with a defined benefit pension plan we maintain for some of our office-based employees (the UK Scheme and Marine Scheme). Although this scheme is now closed to new entrants the cost of this benefit will vary with the movement of actuarial variables and the value of the pension fund assets.

Project development expenses. These include the costs associated with pursuing future contracts and developing our pipeline of activities that have not met our internal threshold for capitalization.

Realized and unrealized gain on oil derivative instrument. In December 2017, we recognized a derivative asset in relation to the LTA. The derivative asset represents the fair value of the estimated discounted cash flows of payments due as a result of the Brent Crude price moving above the contractual floor of $60.00 per barrel over the contract term. The derivative asset is adjusted to fair value at each balance date, the changes in fair value are recognized in each period in current earnings in "Realized and unrealized gain on oil derivative instrument", which forms part of our operating results.

Interest expense and interest income.  Interest expense depends on our and our consolidated lessor VIE entities' overall level of borrowings, including costs associated with such borrowing. By virtue of the sale and leaseback transactions we have entered into with lessor VIEs, where we are deemed to be the primary beneficiary, we are required to consolidate these VIEs into our results. Accordingly, although consolidated into our results, we have no control over the funding arrangements negotiated by these lessor VIE entities which includes the interest rates to be applied. For additional detail refer to note 5 "Variable Interest Entities" of our consolidated financial statements included herein. Furthermore, our estimation process is dependent upon the timeliness of receipt and accuracy of financial information provided by these lessor VIE entities. During construction of a newbuilding, FSRU or FLNG retrofitting period, interest expense incurred is capitalized in the cost of the newbuilding or retrofitted vessel. In addition this treatment may also apply to certain of our equity method investments, meeting specific criterion, during the period prior to commencement of their planned principal operations. Interest expense may also change with prevailing interest rates, although interest rate swaps or other derivative instruments may reduce the effect of these changes. Interest income will depend on prevailing interest rates and the level of our cash deposits and restricted cash deposits.

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Impairment of non-current assets . Our vessels are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. In assessing the recoverability of our vessels' carrying amounts, we make assumptions regarding estimated future cash flows, the vessels' economic useful life and estimates in respect of residual or scrap value. 

(Losses) gains on derivative instruments. (Losses) gains on derivative instruments include market valuation adjustments for interest rate swap derivatives, realized interest income/(expense) on interest rate swaps and market valuation adjustments on Earn-Out Units. The market valuation adjustment for our derivatives may have a significant impact on our results of operations and financial position although it does not impact our liquidity. Although for certain of our derivative arrangements such as our total return equity swap cash collateral may be required to be posted. As at December 31, 2018 cash collateral amounting to $82.9 million has been provided against our Total Return Swap (see note 14 "Restricted Cash and Short-term Deposits" of our consolidated financial statements included herein).

Other financial items. Other financial items include financing fee arrangement costs such as commitment fees on credit facilities, foreign exchange gains/losses and other realized gains/(losses) on our financial instruments. Foreign exchange gains or losses arise due to the retranslation of our capital lease obligations and the cash deposits securing those obligations. Any gain or loss represents an unrealized gain or loss and will arise over time as a result of exchange rate movements. Our liquidity position will only be affected to the extent that we choose or are required to withdraw monies from or pay additional monies into the deposits securing our capital lease obligations.

Equity in net earnings or losses of affiliates. This includes our share of the earnings or losses of our affiliates. Affiliates are entities over which we generally have between 20% and 50% of the voting rights, or over which we have significant influence, but over which we do not exercise control or have the power to control the financial and operational policies. These are accounted for by the equity method of accounting. This also extends to entities in which we hold a majority ownership interest, but we do not control, due to the participating rights of non-controlling interests. We record our investment in the affiliate at cost (or fair value if a consequence of deconsolidation), and adjust the carrying amount for our share of the earnings or losses of the affiliate subsequent to the date of the investment and report the recognized earnings or losses in income. The excess, if any, of the purchase price over book value of our investments in equity method affiliates, or basis difference, is included in the consolidated balance sheets as "Investments in affiliates". The basis difference will then be amortized through the consolidated statements of income.

Non-Controlling Interest. Non-controlling interest refers to the 44.6% interest in Hilli LLC. In addition, we have entered into various sale and leaseback arrangements with wholly-owned special purpose vehicles (“lessor SPVs”) of financial institutions. While we do not hold any equity investments in these lessor SPVs, we have determined that we are the primary beneficiary of these entities and accordingly, we are required to consolidate these variable interest entities (“VIEs”) into our financial results. Thus, the equity attributable to these financial institutions is included in our non-controlling interest. For additional details, see note 5 “Variable Interest Entities” to our Consolidated Financial Statements included herein.

Inflation and Cost Increases

Although inflation has had a moderate impact on operating expenses, interest costs, drydocking expenses and overhead, we do not expect inflation to have a significant impact on direct costs in the current and foreseeable economic environment other than potentially in relation to insurance costs and crew costs. LNG transportation is a business that requires specialist skills that take some time to acquire and the number of vessels is increasing. Therefore, there has been an increased demand for qualified crews, which has and will continue to the same extent to put inflationary pressure on crew costs. Only vessels on full cost pass-through charters would be fully protected from crew cost increases.  

Results of Operations

Our results for the years ended December 31, 2018 , 2017 and 2016 were affected by several key factors:

Interest costs of $43.9 million, $72.4 million and $50.3 million were capitalized in 2018 , 2017 and 2016 , respectively, in relation to the FLNG conversion of the Hilli, the investment in our affiliate, Golar Power and our newbuilding under construction;

The realized and unrealized gains and losses on mark-to-market adjustments for our derivative instruments, excluding the Hilli embedded derivative, of $30.5 million loss, $20.7 million gain and $16.5 million gain in 2018 , 2017 and 2016 , respectively;


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Mark-to-market loss of $16.8 million and gain of $15.1 million in 2018 and 2017 , respectively, on the embedded derivative in relation to the Hilli LTA.

In September 2014, the Hilli was delivered to Keppel, in Singapore for commencement of her FLNG conversion. The Hilli completed her conversion in October 2017 and subsequently underwent commissioning. In 2018, she completed commissioning and was accepted under the LTA with the Customer and is now in full commercial operation.

Other operating income for the year ended December 31, 2018 includes $50.7 million recovered from West Africa Gas Limited in relation to amounts due under the charter agreement. In addition, subsequent to the decision to wind down OneLNG, we have written off $12.7 million of the trading balance with OneLNG as we deem it to be no longer recoverable.

Other-than-temporary impairment on our investment in Golar Partners amounting to $149.4 million was recognized for the year ended December 31, 2018 in the line item Equity in net (losses) earnings of affiliates;

Charterhire expenses of $ nil , $17.4 million and $28.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 , 2017 and 2016 , respectively, arising from the charter-back of the Golar Grand from Golar Partners, under an agreement executed at the time of the disposal to Golar Partners. On November 1, 2017, the Golar Grand arrangement concluded;

Our vessels were affected by commercial waiting time;

Share options expense on options granted during 2018 , 2017 and 2016 ;

Project expenses such as those relating to FLNG project development;

Deconsolidation of Golar Power in July 2016, which resulted in the recognition of a loss of $8.5 million on loss of control; and

Impairment loss arising on the loan and associated interest receivables from the Douglas Channel Project consortium. Given the announcement of a negative Final Investment Decision, we reassessed the recoverability of the loan and accrued interest receivables from the Douglas Channel LNG Assets Partnership, or DCLAP, and concluded that DCLAP would not have the means to satisfy its obligations under the loan. Accordingly, we recognized an impairment charge of $7.6 million in 2016.

The impact of these factors is discussed in more detail below.

A. Operating Results

Year ended December 31, 2018 , compared with the year ended December 31, 2017

As of December 31, 2018 , we managed our business and analyzed and reported our results of operations on the basis of three segments: Vessel operations, FLNG and Power. Although our segments are generally influenced by the same economic factors, each represents a distinct product in the LNG industry. See note 7 "Segment Information" of our consolidated financial statements included herein.

The following details our consolidated revenues and expense information for the three segments for each of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 :

Vessel operations segment


52



 
December 31,
 
 
(in thousands of $, except average daily TCE)
2018
2017
Change
% Change
 
 
 
 
 
Total operating revenues
302,979

143,537

159,442

111
 %
Vessel operating expenses
(70,543
)
(55,944
)
(14,599
)
26
 %
Voyage, charterhire and commission expenses (including expenses from collaborative arrangement)
(104,463
)
(61,171
)
(43,292
)
71
 %
Administrative expenses (2)
(51,716
)
(36,296
)
(15,420
)
42
 %
Project development expenses (2)
(5,165
)
(9,796
)
4,631

(47
)%
Depreciation and amortization
(65,496
)
(76,522
)
11,026

(14
)%
Other operating gains
50,740


50,740

100
 %
Operating income (loss)
56,336

(96,192
)
152,528

(159
)%
 
 
 
 
 
Equity in net (losses) earnings of affiliates
(138,677
)
1,503

(140,180
)
(9,327
)%
 
 
 
 
 
Other Financial Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average Daily TCE (1)  (to the closest $100)
43,700

17,500

26,200

150
 %
Calendar days less scheduled off-hire days
3,987

3,885

102

3
 %
(1) TCE is a non-GAAP financial measure. For a reconciliation of TCE, please see “Item 3. Key Information-A. Selected Financial Data."
(2) With effect from quarter ended June 30, 2018, we presented new line item, "Project development expenses", which includes costs associated with pursuing future contracts and developing our pipeline of activities that have not met our internal threshold for capitalization. Previously, these costs were presented within "Administrative expenses" along with our general overhead costs. This presentation change has been retrospectively adjusted in prior periods. See note 2 "Accounting Policies" of our consolidated financial statements included herein.

Total operating revenues: Operating revenues increased by $159.4 million to $303.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $143.5 million in 2017. This was principally due to an increase of:

$144.8 million as a result of improved utilization and daily hire rates, including repositioning fees, from our vessels operating within the Cool Pool during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the same period in 2017; and
$16.0 million as a result of the Golar Glacier commencing her new 12 month charter in February 2018.

Average daily TCE: As a result of an overall increase in charter rates and utilization of most of our vessels within the period, we had a higher daily TCE for the year ended December 31, 2018 of $43,700 compared to $17,500 for the same period in 2017 .

Vessel operating expenses: Vessel operating expenses increased by $14.6 million to $70.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 , compared to $55.9 million for the same period in 2017 , primarily due to an increase of:

$6.2 million in operating costs in relation to our vessels operating within the Cool Pool; and
$7.8 million of reactivation and operating costs of the Golar Viking as she was taken out of lay-up in January 2018.

Voyage, charterhire and commission expenses: Largely relate to charterhire expenses, fuel costs associated with commercial waiting time and vessel positioning costs. While a vessel is on-hire, fuel costs are typically paid by the charterer, whereas during periods of commercial waiting time, fuel costs are paid by us. The increase in voyage, charterhire and commission expenses of $43.3 million to $104.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $61.2 million for the same period in 2017 , is principally due to an increase of:

$52.2 million of voyage expenses that arose from the increased utilization of our vessels participating within the Cool Pool, for which we receive credit under the Cool Pool arrangement (further described in note 28(d) "Related Parties" of our consolidated financial statements included herein); and
$3.2 million due to the Golar Viking being taken out of lay-up.

This was partially offset by the $12.7 million decrease in charterhire expense relating to the charter back of the Golar Grand from Golar Partners. As the charter back of the Golar Grand was completed in November 1, 2017, there was no comparable charterhire expense in 2018.


53



Administrative expenses: Administrative expenses increased by $15.4 million to $51.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $36.3 million for the same period in 2017 , principally due to an increase in salaries and employee benefits (including share options expenses).

Project development expenses: Project development expenses decreased by $4.6 million to $5.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $9.8 million for the same period in 2017 , principally due to a decrease in non-capitalized project-related expenses comprising of legal, professional and consultancy costs.

Depreciation and amortization: Depreciation and amortization decreased by $11.0 million to $65.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $76.5 million for the same period in 2017 , principally due to a decrease of:

$7.8 million in Golar Tundra depreciation as a result of a $9.7 million catch-up charge recognized upon the vessel ceasing to be classified as held-for-sale in March 2017; and
$3.3 million in the Gandria depreciation as she reached the end of her useful economic life at December 31, 2017 , and accordingly, no further depreciation expense was recognized in 2018.

Other operating gains: This represents initial amounts recovered in connection with the ongoing arbitration proceedings arising from the delays and the termination of the Golar Tundra time charter with a former charterer.

Equity in net earnings of affiliates:
 
December 31,
 
 
(in thousands of $)
2018
2017
Change
% Change
Share in net earnings in Golar Partners
7,001

17,702

(10,701
)
(60
)%
Impairment of investment in Golar Partners
(149,389
)

(149,389
)
100
 %
Net loss on deemed disposal of investments in Golar Partners

(16,992
)
16,992

100
 %
Share of net earnings (loss) in other affiliates
3,711

793

2,918

368
 %
 
(138,677
)
1,503

(140,180
)
(9,327
)%

The decrease in the share of net earnings in Golar Partners is as a result of a decrease in the underlying performance of Golar Partners in 2018. As a result, during the year ended December 31, 2018 , we recognized an impairment charge of $149.4 million. The year ended December 31, 2017 included a deemed loss on disposal of $17.0 million as a result of a dilution in our holding in Golar Partners due to further issuances of common units by Golar Partners in February 2017. As of December 31, 2018 , we held a 32.0% ( 2017 : 31.8% ) ownership interest in Golar Partners (including our 2% general partner interest) and 100% of IDRs.

The share of net earnings in other affiliates represents our share of equity in Egyptian Company for Gas Services S.A.E ("ECGS") and Avenir LNG Limited ("Avenir"). During the year ended December 31, 2018 we recognized negative goodwill of $3.8 million in equity in net earnings of affiliates to reflect our bargain purchase of Avenir. Refer to note 16 "Investment in Affiliates" of our Consolidated Financial Statements included herein for further details.


54



FLNG segment

 
December 31,
 
 
(in thousands of $)
2018
2017
Change
% Change
Total operating revenues
127,625


127,625

100
 %
 
 
 
 
 
Vessel operating expenses
(26,317
)
(2
)
(26,315
)
1,315,750
 %
Voyage expenses
(1,363
)
(121
)
(1,242
)
1,026
 %
Administrative expenses (1)
175

(1,736
)
1,911

(110
)%
Project development expenses (1)
(16,526
)
(2,506
)
(14,020
)
559
 %
Depreciation and amortization
(28,193
)

(28,193
)
100
 %
Other operating gains
2,749

15,100

(12,351
)
(82
)%
Operating gain
58,150

10,735

47,415

442
 %
 
 
 
 
 
Equity in net losses of affiliates
(2,047
)
(8,153
)
6,106

(75
)%
(1) With effect from quarter ended June 30, 2018, we presented new line item, "Project development expenses", which includes costs associated with pursuing future contracts and developing our pipeline of activities that have not met our internal threshold for capitalization. Previously, these costs were presented within "Administrative expenses" along with our general overhead costs. This presentation change has been retrospectively adjusted in prior periods. See note 2 "Accounting Policies" of our consolidated financial statements included herein.

Total operating revenues: On May 31, 2018, the Hilli was accepted by the Customer and, accordingly, commenced operations. As a result, she generated $127.6 million total operating revenues in relation to her liquefaction services for the year ended December 31, 2018 .

Vessel operating expenses: This represents the vessel operating expenses incurred by the Hilli since she commenced operations.

Project development expenses: This relates to non-capitalized project-related expenses comprising of legal, professional and consultancy costs. The increase for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 was primarily as a result of increased engineering consultation fees and front-end engineering and design costs in relation to the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project.

Depreciation: Subsequent to the Customer's acceptance of the Hilli , we determined her to be operational and, therefore, depreciation commenced during the second quarter of 2018 .

Other operating gains: Includes the realized and unrealized gain on the oil derivative instrument. In 2018, we recognized a realized gain of $26.7 million, and an unrealized fair value loss of $10.0 million, relating to the LTA oil derivative instrument as a result of the increased price of Brent Crude during the year. The derivative asset was recognized upon the LTA becoming effective in December 2017. In 2017, we recognized an unrealized fair value gain of $15.1 million.

For the year ended December 31, 2018 , this is partially offset by a $1.3 million write off of capitalized conversion costs in relation to the Gandria . In addition, subsequent to the decision to wind down OneLNG, we have written off $12.7 million of the trading balance with OneLNG as we deem it to be no longer recoverable.

Equity in net losses of affiliates: Pursuant to the formation of OneLNG in July 2016, we equity account for our share of net losses in OneLNG. Given the difficulties in finalizing an attractive debt financing package along with other capital and resource priorities, in April 2018, Golar and Schlumberger decided to wind down OneLNG and work on FLNG projects as required on a case-by-case basis. As a result, activity levels have been substantially reduced for the year ended December 31, 2018 and the carrying value of the investment was written down to $nil.
    

Power segment

 
December 31,
 
 
(in thousands of $)
2018
2017
Change
% Change
 
 
 
 
 
Equity in net (losses) of Golar Power
(16,913
)
(18,798
)
1,885

(10
)%

55



    
Pursuant to the formation of Golar Power in July 2016, we have accounted for our interest in Golar Power under the equity method.

The share of net losses of Golar Power principally relates to trading activity of the Golar Celsius and the Golar Penguin operating as LNG carriers within the Cool Pool arrangement (further described in note 28 "Related Parties" of our consolidated financial statements included herein) and the administrative cost of business development activities from Golar Power's Brazilian subsidiaries. The main Brazilian activity relates to the CELSE project, which is not yet operational as the power plant is still under construction.

Other non-operating results

The following details our other consolidated results for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 :
 
December 31,
 
 
(in thousands of $)
2018
2017
Change
% Change
 
 
 
 
 
Total other non-operating expense

(81
)
81

(100
)%
Interest income
10,133

5,890

4,243

72
 %
Interest expense
(101,908
)
(59,305
)
(42,603
)
72
 %
(Losses) gains on derivative instruments
(30,541
)
20,696

(51,237
)
(248
)%
Other financial items, net
(1,481
)
(69
)
(1,412
)
2,046
 %
Income taxes
(1,267
)
(1,505
)
238

(16
)%
Net income attributable to non-controlling interests
(63,214
)
(34,424
)
(28,790
)
84
 %

Interest income: Interest income increased by $4.2 million to $10.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 , compared to $5.9 million for the same period in 2017 due to returns on our fixed deposits that had been made in 2018, and income derived from the lending capital of our lessor VIEs, that we are required to consolidate under U.S. GAAP.

Interest expense: Interest expense increased by $42.6 million to $101.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $59.3 million for the same period in 2017 . In addition to higher LIBOR rates, this was primarily due to:

$22.7 million increase in interest expense arising on the loan facilities of our consolidated lessor VIEs (refer to note 5 "Variable Interest Entities ("VIE")" of our consolidated financial statements included herein), in particular on the Hilli post-delivery sale and leaseback arrangement entered into during June 2018;
$21.7 million lower capitalized interest on borrowing costs in relation to our investment in the Hilli FLNG conversion prior to acceptance of the vessel;
$7.0 million increase in amortization of deferred financing costs in relation to the Hilli facility; and
$1.4 million increase in interest expense in relation to the $402.5 million convertible bond issued in February 2017, resulting in a full year of interest incurred in 2018.

This was partially offset by a decrease of:

$5.9 million in interest expense relating to the Hilli disposal;
$5.0 million higher capitalized interest on borrowing costs in relation to our investment in Golar Power.

Losses on derivative instruments: Losses on derivative instruments increased by $51.2 million to a loss of $30.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to a gain of $20.7 million for the same period in 2017. The movement was primarily due to:

Net unrealized and realized gains on interest rate swap agreements : As of December 31, 2018, we have an interest rate swap portfolio with a notional amount of $950 million, none of which are designated as hedges for accounting purposes. Net unrealized gains on the interest rate swaps decreased to a gain of $0.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to a gain of $6.6 million for the same period in 2017, due to an improvement in the long-term swap rates, offset by the decreased notional value of the swap portfolio over the period. Realized gains on our interest rate swaps increased to a gain of $8.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to a loss of $3.8 million for the same period in 2017. The increase was primarily due to higher LIBOR rates for the year ended December 31, 2018.

56




Unrealized (losses) gains on total return swap (or equity swap): In December 2014, we established a three month facility for a Stock Indexed Total Return Swap Programme or Equity Swap Line with DNB Bank ASA in connection with a share buyback scheme. The facility has been extended to June 2019. The equity swap derivatives mark-to-market adjustment resulted in a net loss of $30.7 million recognized in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to a gain of $16.6 million for the same period in 2017. The loss in 2018 is due to the fall in the Company's share price during 2018.

Unrealized mark-to-market losses on Earn-Out Units: This relates to the mark-to-market movement on the Earn-Out Units issuable in connection with the IDR reset transaction in October 2016, which we recognize as a derivative asset in our consolidated financial statements. The decrease in Golar Partners' quarterly distribution to $0.4042 per common unit on October 24, 2018 resulted in the contingent Earn-Out Units arising out of the IDR reset transaction in October 2016 not crystallizing and, accordingly, we recognized a mark-to-market loss of $7.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, effectively reducing the derivative asset to $nil at December 31, 2018, compared to a gain of $0.4 million for the same period in 2017.

Net income attributable to non-controlling interests: The net income attributable to non-controlling interests comprises of (i) $19.7 million and $1.5 million in relation to the non-controlling shareholders who hold interests in Hilli LLC and Hilli Corp (prior to the incorporation of Hilli LLC) for the year ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 , respectively, and (ii) $43.5 million and $32.9 million in relation to the equity interests in our lessor VIEs for the year ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 , respectively. We are party to sale and leaseback arrangements for eight vessels with these lessor VIEs. While we do not hold any equity investments in these lessor VIEs, we are the primary beneficiary. Accordingly, these lessor VIEs are consolidated into our financial results and thus the equity attributable to the financial institutions in their respective variable interest entities are included in non-controlling interests in our consolidated results.

Year ended December 31, 2017 , compared with the year ended December 31, 2016


The following details our consolidated revenues and expense information for the three segments for each of the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 :


57



Vessel operations segment

 
December 31,
 
 
(in thousands of $, except average daily TCE)
2017
2016
Change
% Change
 
 
 
 
 
Total operating revenues
143,537

80,257

63,280

79
 %
Vessel operating expenses
(55,944
)
(53,163
)
(2,781
)
5
 %
Voyage, charterhire and commission expenses (including expenses from collaborative arrangement)
(61,171
)
(47,563
)
(13,608
)
29
 %
Administrative expenses (2)
(36,296
)
(37,302
)
1,006