Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered the KFELS N-Class jack-up rig, the Rowan Stavanger, to Rowan Companies, Inc. (Rowan) (NYSE: RDC) safely, on time and within budget. The second of three KFELS N-Class rigs being built for Rowan, this high-specification jack-up design is a product of Keppel's rich experience in constructing rigs for the North Sea region since 1985.
The rig was named the Rowan Stavanger at Keppel FELS by Lady Sponsor, Mrs. Amy Ralls, spouse of Mr. Matt Ralls, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rowan.
Rowan President and CEO Matt Ralls, said, "Our acquisition of Skeie Drilling and Production and three high-specification KFELS N-Class rigs in the third quarter of 2010 has strengthened Rowan's market-leading position worldwide for jack-ups with hook-load capacities of two million pounds or more while providing us with the additional capacity to meet our customers' stringent operating requirements for their most challenging wells.
"Our first KFELS N-Class jack-up, the Rowan Viking, is expected to commence a 19-month assignment in the UK sector of the North Sea with Total UK in March 2011. The Rowan Stavanger is yet another outstanding product of the talent and hard work demonstrated by the Keppel FELS and Rowan project teams. The high-spec KFELS N-Class rigs are among the most capable jack-ups in the world and we are very pleased to add them to the Rowan fleet."
The KFELS N-Class jack-up has been designed and equipped for demanding drilling requirements in harsh weather environments, including the Norwegian market. The proprietary design of Offshore Technology Development (OTD), Keppel's R&D arm, the robust KFELS N-Class rig is able to operate efficiently in some of the harshest offshore environments in the world. The KFELS N-Class design is in full compliance with the demanding and technically challenging requirements of rigs operating in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
At 568 ft (extendable to 598 ft) or about 56 stories tall, this jack-up unit can operate in severe weather conditions in water depths of 400 to 500 feet, which are 40% deeper than traditional units in benign waters. It is also able to drill to depths of 35,000 feet, which is 15% deeper compared to existing harsh environment jack-up rigs.
Wong Kok Seng, Managing Director of Keppel FELS, said, "In recent times, Norwegian oil companies have expressed their intent to drill additional exploration wells in 2011. Some 60 wells have been identified and 23 are located in the North Sea.
"In addition to the growing high-specification jack-up market, this bodes well for companies with ready-to-drill premium jack-ups in hand. We trust that the N-Class jack-ups will prove to be valuable assets to Rowan as it answers the call for demanding drilling services."
Equipped to provide customers with the flexibility of undertaking drilling and production concurrently, the high-specification KFELS N-Class rig has features that allow drilling to take place at two positions 26 feet apart. This special design allows the jack-up to accept process modules for production activities while having concurrent drilling activities at the secondary cantilever position. The two cantilever drilling positions also provide an exceptionally wide drilling envelope.
Construction of the third KFELS N-Class rig at Keppel FELS, which is to be named the Rowan Norway, is on schedule with expected delivery in the second quarter of 2011. Over in the US, Keppel AmFELS has successfully delivered three of four Rowan EXL-Class jack-up rigs (Enhanced Super 116E) to Rowan safely, on time and within budget. The fourth EXL-Class rig is presently under construction with expected delivery in the first quarter of 2012.