Rowan Companies, Inc. announced plans for the construction of two jack-up rigs to add to its offshore fleet. The rigs will be a new design called the LeTourneau 240C. This design has enhanced environmental and drilling capabilities to meet the ever increasing operational requirements of worldwide exploration and production. Each rig will cost approximately $165 million and will be constructed at Rowan's Vicksburg, Mississippi facility
. Expected delivery of the first rig is early summer 2008, and the second in early 2009. Rowan currently anticipates funding construction with available cash, but will consider attractive financing alternatives.
The 240C rigs will have up to 535 feet of leg length, enabling operations in water depths of up to 400 feet, and are designed for high pressure/high temperature drilling. Compared to the 116C design, the 240C rigs will have more deck space, higher variable load, more drilling capacity (two million pound hook-load capability), more cantilever reach (up to 85 feet) and increased personnel on board (120 man). The 240C design will set a new standard as a replacement for the industry's current fleet of 116C rigs, which has been the "workhorse" of the global drilling industry for the past 25 years.