Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured a contract to build two enhanced KFELS Super A Class harsh environment jackup rigs from a subsidiary of Ensco plc (NYSE: ESV) at a shipyard price of about $440m.
These rigs are scheduled for delivery in the second and fourth quarters of 2013. As part of its contract with Keppel FELS, Ensco has options to order two more similar jackup units.
Mr Dan Rabun
, Chairman and CEO of Ensco plc, said, "The new rig orders reflect our commitment to continually high-grade our fleet. Operators' requirements will continue to increase over time and it is Ensco's strategy and intention to maintain our position at the high end of the premium jackup market.
"Keppel-designed rigs, which make up about 20 percent of our current jackup fleet, have been delivering exceptional performance. The new KFELS Super A Class rigs, which are being customised to Ensco's requirements, will give us even more high-specification assets to match the drilling demand for increased drilling capabilities in each market."
Mr Tong Chong Heong, Chief Executive Officer of Keppel Offshore
& Marine, said, "The KFELS Super A Class hails from our proven KFELS MOD V-A Class jackup, which has been widely deployed by our international customers, including Ensco. This new generation rig is a showpiece of our cumulative experience in designing and constructing cutting-edge harsh environment solutions.
"In choosing to build up to four units of this innovative design, our faithful customer Ensco has given strong endorsement to the KFELS Super A Class, which is well-suited for operating conditions in the UK, Danish and Dutch sectors of the North Sea. We are pleased to take our partnership with Ensco to the next level and support its ongoing enhancement of an already advanced drilling fleet."
A viable and cost-effective solution for harsh environments and cold climate areas, the new KFELS Super A Class boasts the distinctive qualities of Keppel FELS' proven jackup rig designs.
The KFELS Super A Class rig can operate in water depths of 400 feet and drill to depths of 40,000 feet. It features advanced automated drilling systems with 2.5 million pounds of static hook load, a spacious deck and comprehensive amenities for the comfort of a 150-person crew. It also has an offline stand building capability to handle drill pipes efficiently, boosting overall rig performance and productivity.
For enhanced operational safety, the KFELS Super A Class is equipped with the latest pinion overload detection, rack phase difference detection, and brake failure and overload protection devices, thus meeting even the stringent Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) standards of various sectors in the North Sea.
The above contract is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the current financial year.