New Fortress buys two Maersk rigs for FLNG project

Wes Edens-led New Fortress Energy has purchased two jack-up rigs from Maersk Drilling as it plans to use them for a floating LNG production project.

The total sales price for the two rigs is $31 million in all-cash transactions, Denmark’s Maersk Drilling said in a statement on Monday.

The first rig named Guardian is an ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig which Maersk previously converted into an accommodation unit. The 1986-built rig has been warm-stacked in Esbjerg, Denmark after ending its latest contract offshore Denmark in 2020.

In addition, the 1993-built ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig Mærsk Gallant sits in Dundee, UK after ending its latest contract offshore the UK in 2017, according to Maersk.

Maersk has already sold Guardian and expects the Gallant transaction to close in June.

Fast LNG project

NFE will use the rigs for non-drilling purposes as part of the company’s planned Fast LNG project announced in March.

The US firm said then it made a final investment decision on the solution called Fast LNG.

Furthermore, this move came just months after the firm revealed a $5 billion deal to buy two Golar units.

The modular liquefaction facility will have 1.4 million tonnes per annum capacity in order to provide a “low-cost supply” of liquefied natural gas for its growing customer base, the firm said.

Moreover, the design pairs the “latest advancements” in modular, midsize liquefaction technology with jack-up rigs, NFE said.

This infrastructure would enable a “much lower cost and faster deployment schedule than today’s floating liquefaction vessels,” it said.

A permanently moored FSU will serve as an LNG storage facility alongside the floating liquefaction infrastructure as well.

NFE said in March it had issued a limited notice to proceed to Fluor, Chart Industries but also Baker Hughes for the construction of the first Fast LNG project.

It expects the project to become operational in about 20 months.

“Our innovative Fast LNG liquefiers should allow us to produce LNG between an expected $3-4 MMBtu for our growing portfolio of terminals around the world,” said NFE CEO and Chairman Wes Edens.

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