Ensco said that a subsidiary of the company has purchased Diamond Offshore's Ocean Shield jackup drilling rig, a KFELS Super B Class design, delivered in 2008. The rig will be renamed ENSCO 109. The unique design includes two million pound hoisting capacity, a 15,000 psi high-pressure BOP and nearly 5,000 bbls of liquid mud capacity that make ENSCO 109 ideally suited to drill deep gas wells -- a high growth area in the premium jackup market. The design also permits drilling in water depths up to 350' to a total depth of 35,000'. Industry-wide, all of the KFELS Super B Class jackups are contracted. Chairman, President and CEO Dan Rabun stated, "The Middle East and Southeast Asia, in particular, are regions where we believe customers will require more high-spec, deep-gas jackup rigs. ENSCO 109 will address this growing need and is expected to command higher day rates than standard duty jackups."
Mr. Rabun added, "Purchasing ENSCO 109 is part of our long-established strategy of high-grading our fleet by investing in newer equipment. We will continue to look for opportunities to acquire premium offshore rigs that can generate favorable returns for our shareholders."
ENSCO 109 was purchased with available cash for approximately $186 million. The Company will assume the current drilling contract for the rig with Apache Corp. in Australia that extends through May 2011. The rig was built in Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore where Ensco's four remaining ENSCO 8500 Series(R) ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs are being constructed.