Keppel FELS Signs Contracts with Diamond Offshore

Friday, November 30, 2001
Keppel FELS Limited (KFELS), the offshore arm of the Keppel Group has secured contracts worth a total of $77 million from Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc for the upgrades of a semi-submersible, Ocean Rover and a jack-up rig, Ocean Tower. This comes after a $34 million contract from Diamond Offshore for the upgrading of four jack-up rigs in July this year. These contracts were secured as a result of KFELS’ services and the outstanding work it is performing on Ocean Baroness, presently in the final stages of an extremely challenging deepwater upgrade in KFELS’ Pioneer Yard in Singapore. Tong Chong Heong, managing director of KFELS said, “We are very pleased that Diamond Offshore has chosen us to be a partner in the enhancement of their fleet of vessels. It demonstrates their confidence in KFELS’ expertise and engineering strength to undertake sophisticated upgrades.“We are committed to continue to add value to Diamond Offshore with our high quality work and our ability to think out of the box to develop alternative and cost effective solutions for our customers.”KFELS has been able to provide innovative solutions on Ocean Baroness, a Victory-class semi-submersible which is being enhanced with 5th generation capabilities, allowing it to work in challenging deepwater of up to 6,500 ft and the capability to handle 5,500 tons operating variable deck load. In the newly awarded contract, Ocean Rover will undergo an upgrade with specifications similar to the enhanced Ocean Baroness. The project will be undertaken in KFELS’ Pioneer Yard and is estimated to take 18 months. KFELS’ yard in Brownsville, Texas, Amfels Inc (AMFELS) will carry out the work on Ocean Tower, a 350 ft independent-leg slot-type jack-up rig which will be upgraded to a cantilever-type rig with a new derrick, mud pump, sub base, shaker house and accommodation facilities. The project is expected to take one year. Lawrence Dickerson, president and chief operating officer of Diamond Offshore said, “These expeditious upgrades are part of our long-term strategy to enhance our fleet capabilities in an effort to better serve the needs of our customers. “KFELS and AMFELS have always been able to deliver our projects quickly and with the desired quality. We are confident that the upgrades will similarly fulfill our expectations at a significant cost advantage.”KFELS is the leading builder of offshore jack-up drilling rigs and has completed 60% of the world’s jack-up rigs on order since 1996. Its parent company, Keppel Corporation will transfer its entire 61 percent stake in Keppel Hitachi Zosen to KFELS, with the aim of further enhancing its global presence with a combined network of 12 shipyards in strategic locations around the world. Diamond Offshore is a leader in deepwater drilling which owns and operates one of the largest fleets of offshore drilling units in the world. The Company’s fleet consists of 30 semi-submersibles, 14 jack-ups and one dynamically positioned drillship. It operates in waters of six of the world’s seven continents, supplying comprehensive drilling services to the global energy industry.

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