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    Danish Maersk sells jack-ups to New Fortress Energy


Rigs will be converted for NFE's Fast LNG project

by: Dale Lunan

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Danish Maersk sells jack-ups to New Fortress Energy

Danish drilling contractor Maersk Drilling said May 17 it had reached agreements to sell a pair of mothballed jack-up drilling rigs to New Fortress Energy (NFE), which will use them to support its Fast LNG project.

Maersk said it had already sold the Maersk Guardian rig (since renamed Guardian) and has reached an agreement to sell the Maersk Gallant, with anticipated closing in June 2021. Together, the total sales price for the two rigs was $31mn, Maersk said.

NFE’s Fast LNG project contemplates mounting 1.4mn mt/yr of liquefaction and associated equipment on the two rigs, supported by a nearby moored floating storage unit. The work will be done by Fluor, Chart Industries and Baker Hughes at the Kiewit shipyard in Ingleside, Texas, and the unit is expected to be on-line by the end of 2022, according to a recent NFE presentation document.

“Our innovative Fast LNG liquefiers should allow us to produce LNG between an expected $3-$4/mn Btu for our growing portfolio of terminals around the world,” NFE CEO Wes Edens said in March, when the company announced a final investment decision on the $500mn project. “This technology can be installed quickly and cheaply to access stranded, low-cost natural gas at a fixed price to meet the global demand for more affordable, reliable and cleaner energy.”

Maersk Gallant is an ultra-harsh environment rig that has been cold-stacked in Scotland since 2017, while Guardian, also an ultra-harsh environment rig but converted to an accommodation unit, has been warm-stacked in Denmark since ending its last offshore contract in 2020.

(Maersk Guardian jack-up photo courtesy Maersk Drilling.)