(EnergyAsia, January 8 2013, Tuesday) — In a belated announcement, Singapore’s Keppel FELS Limited said it has delivered its first KFELS Super B Class jack-up oil drilling rig to a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco.

Named SAR 202, the rig was delivered 13 days ahead of schedule, on budget and with a perfect safety record last October to Aramco Overseas Company BV.

Keppel FELS, a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, a wholly owned company of Keppel Corporation Limited, did not say why it did not announce the delivery near or at the time of the event as it often does

The rig is now in Saudi Arabia, known more for its onshore fields, being prepared for deployment to explore for oil and gas in waters off the kingdom’s coast.

Customised to Saudi Aramco’s requirements, SAR 202 is equipped with a high capacity hook load of two million pounds for operations in high temperature and high pressure wells. Capable of drilling down to 30,000 feet, the proprietary KFELS Super B Class design is a global benchmark for ultra deep well drilling rigs.

The rig was named at a ceremony held in Singapore last September 29.

Mohammad Al-Hattab, Aramco’s head of the Southern Area Oil Drilling Department, said:

“We are pleased to receive this state-of-the art jackup rig which will contribute significantly to our offshore drilling programme. When we started this project, it was during the downturn and the naysayers said that it would be completed late and overrun the budget. It has instead been delivered early, within budget and with a perfect safety record, all the hallmarks of a Keppel project.

“This was accomplished despite the fact that we changed the whole control system after the Macondo incident. In fact, the rig was fully upgraded to 100% API standards without any delay. Keppel FELS has proven to be an excellent partner for us and we definitely look forward to having more projects with them.”

A proprietary Keppel design, the KFELS Super B Class is the sixth such jackup built by Keppel FELS, all of which are operating successfully wherever they have been deployed. It is an enhanced version of the KFELS B Class design.

Wong Kok Seng, Keppel FELS managing director, said:

“This order was a win-win situation as Saudi Aramco gave us our first order in 2010 that kick-started the jack-up building boom while we have delivered their very first purpose-built, next-generation offshore drilling rig to their satisfaction. The KFELS Super B Class is a cost-effective and highly capable design ideally suited to meet the needs of the Middle East. The excellent completion of this rig is a demonstration of our ability to deliver value through leading edge technological as well as operational excellence.

“Besides the SAR 202, another of our KFELS B Class jackup rigs, West Callisto has also been chartered on a three year contract with Saudi Aramco. We are honoured to be able to play a part in Saudi Arabia’s extensive offshore industry and look forward to supporting them as they grow their fleet of high specification offshore rigs.”

To date, the company has delivered a total of 36 KFELS B Class and Super B Class rigs, with another 20 on order. This design has been developed to meet the requirements of drillers for more powerful jackups as the search for hydrocarbons moves into harsher environments and deeper underground.