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Maersk Drilling divests jack-ups to New Fortress Energy

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Maersk Drilling has sold the jack-up rig Maersk Guardian (now named Guardian) to New Fortress Energy, and the parties have further entered into an agreement about the sale of the jack-up rig Mærsk Gallant with anticipated closing in June 2021. The total sales price for the two rigs is US$31 million in all-cash transactions.

The new owner will use the rigs for non-drilling purposes as part of their planned Fast LNG project.

“These transactions will contribute to the necessary rationalisation 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. We’re also pleased that the rigs will be re-purposed and deployed by New Fortress Energy for a project which focuses on providing low-carbon affordable energy,” said CEO Jørn Madsen of Maersk Drilling.

Guardian is an ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig that 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.

Mærsk Gallant is an ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig that was delivered in 1993. It is currently cold-stacked in Dundee, UK after ending its latest contract offshore the UK in 2017.

After both transactions are closed, Maersk Drilling’s fleet will count 12 jack-up rigs, of which 11 are suited for operations in harsh environments, and eight floaters.

Maersk Drilling has also announced that it has secured a contract from INEOS Oil & Gas UK to employ the harsh-environment jack-up rig Maersk Resolve for drilling and hydraulic stimulation at the Breagh Alpha A11 well in block 42/13 of the UK North Sea. The contract is expected to commence in 3Q21, in direct continuation of the rig’s current work scope, with an estimated duration of 140 days. The contract value is approximately US$11.3 million. The contract includes four additional one-well options.

“We’re delighted to be able to firm up Maersk Resolve’s drilling programme for 2021 with this contract, which will see the rig take on its third campaign in a row involving drilling of the challenging Zechstein formations you encounter in this part of the North Sea. We’re confident that Maersk Resolve’s highly capable crew will be able to leverage best practice from the previous campaigns in a safe and efficient operation for INEOS,” said COO Morten Kelstrup of Maersk Drilling.

Maersk Resolve is a 350 ft, Gusto-engineered MSC CJ50 high-efficiency jack-up rig which was delivered in 2009. It is currently operating for Spirit Energy in the UK sector of the North Sea.


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