Global energy producer Shell could order three floating liquefied natural-gas ships each worth $5bn, according to the company’s CEO.

Technip chief operating officer Bernard di Tullio told Bloomberg there would be a minimum of three units and maybe more.

“We could see the first ones floating within four or five years,” said Tullio.

The company will use floating LNG vessels to transform natural gas to liquid from distant offshore fields that lack onshore processing plants and pipelines.

Earlier this month, Shell revealed that it will deploy the first vessel, which will be the biggest ship in the world, off the coast of Northwestern Australia.