DALLAS -- ENSCO has entered into an agreement with Keppel FELS to construct an ultra deepwater semisubmersible rig to be named ENSCO 8502. The total project cost is expected to be approximately $385 million. Delivery is anticipated in late 4Q09.
ENSCO 8502 is the company's third semi in its 8500 series, which are capable of drilling in up to 8,500 ft of water, upgradeable to 10,000 ft.
"We are committed to a long-term strategy of increasing our deepwater rig fleet," says Carl Thorne, ENSCO's chairman and CEO. "We continue to see strong demand for deepwater equipment and are in discussions with several customers that have expressed interest inENSCO 8502."
"We have elected to proceed with construction of the semi in advance of securing a firm drilling commitment for the rig as we believe that the window of opportunity to secure a 2009 delivery and achieve a competitive cost for the rig was closing," he says. "With all three of our other deepwater rigs committed well into the future, and with our contract backlog now in excess of $3 billion, we believe that the time was right to act."