Keppel secures $534 million in rig contracts

Keppel Corp. Ltd. subsidiary Keppel FELS Ltd. has secured two rig contracts amounting to $534 million.

Offshore staff

SINGAPORE --Keppel Corp. Ltd. subsidiary Keppel FELS Ltd. has secured two rig contracts amounting to $534 million.

The contracts are for the construction of a drilling-cum-production jackup rig and a deepwater drilling tender rig. Both rigs will be built to Keppel's proprietary design.

The jackup contract is the third KFELS N Class jackup rig for Skeie Drilling and Production, a member of the Skeie Group. Keppel expects to deliver the new rig in 4Q 2010.

Developed by Keppel O&M's R&D arm, Offshore Technology Development, the KFELS N Class jackup rig will provide customers the flexibility of having a unit that can undertake drilling and production activities concurrently. Capable of operating in water depths to 430 ft (131 m) and drilling depths to 35,000 ft (10,668 m), the rig will be able to readily accept process modules for production activities. The design is in full compliance with the demanding and technically challenging requirements of rigs operating in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, Keppel says.

"Having three KFELS N Class orders in less than half a year is strong endorsement for this innovative design," says Choo Chiau Beng, chairman and CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine. "It reinforces our confidence that the rig has what it takes to meet market requirements for highly robust rigs in the North Sea type of conditions."

The second contract is from repeat customer Seadrill Asia Ltd. for a semisubmersible drilling tender (SSDT), slated for delivery at the end of 2009. The SSDT will be built to Keppel FELS' proprietary design, KFELS SSDT 3600E.

This new tender rig will be an enhancement of the last two KFELS SSDT3600 design rigs,West Setia and West Berani, which Keppel FELS built for Seadrill Asia. The enhanced version includes modifications including increased crane load capacity to 250 metric tons (275.6 tons), four mud pumps, and accommodation and services for 160.

"We are glad to continue our support of Seadrill in meeting their drilling requirements by delivering quality products on time and within budget. It is our aim to be the service provider of choice for our customers through innovation, engineering and excellent execution of projects," Choo says.

The Keppel O&M group has built five tender drilling rigs for Seadrill Asia, formerly Smedvig, since 1994.
Seadrill Asia's parent company, Seadrill Limited, has also ordered four jackup rigs from Keppel FELS, of which three are under construction. The first of the four, West Ceres, was delivered on time and within budget in 2006, Keppel says.

6/26/2007

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