Abbot secures $225 million in jackup contracts

CNR International (Olowi) Ltd. has awarded Abbot Group Plc. subsidiary KCA Deutag Pte. Ltd. a 36-month contract for the jackup drilling rig Ben Avon (formerly Songa Tellus), working in the Olowi field, offshore Gabon. The contract, which will begin between April 1 and June 8, 2008, is valued at more than $170 million.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK -- CNR International (Olowi) Ltd. has awarded Abbot Group Plc. subsidiary KCA Deutag Pte. Ltd. a 36-month contract for the jackup drilling rig Ben Avon (formerly Songa Tellus), working in the Olowi field, offshore Gabon. The contract, which will begin between April 1 and June 8, 2008, is valued at more than $170 million.

Abbot also announced that it has entered a binding letter of intent with an independent operator in respect to theBen Avon. The contract, valued at more than $55 million, is expected to begin in May 2007 and to run until the CNR contract begins.

All three of Abbot's jackup rigs are on long-term contracts. TheBen Loyal (formerly Songa Jupiter) is contracted to Pemex for two years as of September 2006, and the Ben Rinnes (formerly Songa Neptune) recently was contracted to Cabinda Gulf Oil Co. for three years beginning in 2Q 2007. The combined value of these four contract awards is approximately $560 million.

"These contracts further strengthen our position in the international MODU (mobile offshore drilling unit) market, which we entered last May with the acquisition of Songa Drilling. We continue to see a positive trend on day rates and demand for our services across the range of all our business activities, providing further transparency of forward revenues for the Group.

"In addition, jackup rig utilization in the international market remains extremely strong, and we continue to see attractive opportunities in all our areas of operation and certainly in excess of the market's capacity to undertake them. We are confident of delivering improving results for the foreseeable future," says Alasdair Locke, Abbot executive chairman.

3/6/2007

More in Rigs/Vessels