New Fortress Purchases Jackups for Mobile LNG Liquefaction

Rigs will be converted from drilling units to take the place of traditional floating LNG solutions.

The Guardian is one of two rigs New Fortress Energy will convert to its Fast LNG concept.
Source: Maersk Drilling

New Fortress Energy has purchased jackup rig Maersk Guardian and has an agreement in place to acquire jackup Maersk Galant from Danish contractor Maersk Drilling. The natural gas equipment and logistics company will pay $31 million for both units, which it intends to repurpose for its Fast LNG concept. The concept uses the jackups to carry the liquefaction equipment in place of traditional floating LNG (FLNG) solutions.

At just 1.4 mtpa in capacity, New Fortress’ Fast LNG platforms will be smaller than traditional FLNG facilities. The Fast system includes a moored floating storage unit to work in tandem with the jackup. The objective is to create offshore liquefaction capability that can be deployed to monetize excess or stranded-gas assets worldwide.

“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 New Fortress Energy chairman and chief executive Wes Edens. “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. We look forward to deploying one of the world’s lowest-cost LNG production facilities by 2022.”

The Maersk Guardian, now renamed Guardian, is an ultraharsh environment rig which has previously been converted into an accommodation unit. It was delivered in 1986 and has been warm-stacked in Esbjerg, Denmark, after ending its latest contract offshore Denmark in 2020.

Maersk Gallant is an ultraharsh environment rig that was delivered in 1993. It is currently cold-stacked in Dundee, UK, after ending its latest contract offshore the UK in 2017.

“These transactions will contribute to the necessary rationalization of the global drilling rig fleet and they are further in line with Maersk Drilling’s strategic priority of maintaining a fleet of modern, high-quality assets,” said Maersk Drilling chief executive Jørn Madsen. “We’re also pleased that the rigs will be repurposed and deployed by New Fortress Energy for a project which focuses on providing low-carbon affordable energy.”

Following the deal, Maersk Drilling’s fleet now stands at 12 jackups and eight floaters.