(Norway)- Thule Drilling ASA has made a private placement of 15.75 million shares at a price of NOK 33.75 per share totaling NOK 531.6 million of new equity (approximately $80 million). This equity will be used to exercise a construction agreement with rig construction yard QGM Group LLC for two new jackup rigs.
This marks the first new-build options for the United Arab Emirates-based QGM. The rig yard is currently reconstructing the jackupThule Power for Thule Drilling, which is due to be completed for delivery during the second half of August 2006.
The new construction agreement calls for QGM to build two Friede & Goldman Super M2 designed rigs, a proven design with over 30 units built. These rigs have a 300-ft water depth capacity and can drill down to 30,000 ft with a 3,000-ton variable load. They also have a cantilever reach of 50 ft.
The total new-build cost per rig is approximately $126 million including contingency with delivery of one rig in November 2007, and the second during the 1Q 2008. QGM reports that the price is comparable with new-builds offered from other yards.
The design and equipment specification for these jackups is ideally suited to Middle East requirements, which is reported to be the fastest growing jackup market in the world. Thule Drilling intends to work towards long-term contracts for the two units, to be namedThule Energy and Thule Force at a relatively early phase of the construction process.