(EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — Keppel FELS Limited, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited, said it has secured orders to build oil rigs worth a total of US$1.345 billion from various international clients in May, boosting the value of its year-to-date contracts to more than S$6.5 billion. (US$1=S$1.25).

Its biggest order of US$772 million for four KFELS B Class jackup drilling rigs came from Oslo, Norway-listed S.D. Standard Drilling Plc that was followed by a US$180 million contract for the same rig model for Dynamic Offshore Drilling Limited. Earlier in the month,

Keppel FELS secured a US$393 million order for two high-specification KFELS B Class Bigfoot jackup rigs from Qatar’s Gulf Drilling International Ltd (GDI).

Standard Drilling

The Singapore firm said it will deliver the four rigs to Standard Drilling between the second half of 2013 and the first half of 2014.

Standard Drilling ordered its first jackup rig from Keppel FELS in November 2010 with two options. It also acquired two jackups under construction and another two option rigs from Clearwater Capital Partners LLC which involved Clearwater becoming the largest shareholder of Standard Drilling. Standard Drilling now has a combined fleet of seven KFELS B Class rigs, all being built exclusively at Keppel FELS.

Wong Kok Seng, Keppel FELS’s managing director, said:

“With a strong operating track record in various parts of the world, the KFELS B Class has become the industry’s benchmark solution and features strongly in the fleets of today’s leading offshore drillers.

“In a span of less than six months, we have secured new orders for 19 KFELS B Class series rigs, including these latest contracts. In ordering four repeat rigs at once, Standard Drilling has demonstrated its industry foresight, as well as reaffirmed the market’s confidence in our proprietary design and quality execution.”

Rob Petty, managing partner of Clearwater Capital Partners and director of Standard Drilling, said:

“We are proud to announce this exciting transaction that combines the Clearwater rigs into Standard Drilling and creates a pure play jackup company with seven KFELS B Class rigs.

“Clearwater is committed to Standard Drilling, where the board has come together to form the largest single portfolio of newly built jack up rigs so vital to the burgeoning market demand for new rigs with high specifications. With our fellow directors and shareholders we are focused on establishing Standard Drilling as a best-in-class operator and building a top tier management team to complement the premium assets we are creating at Keppel FELS.

“We see a unique opportunity to grow an Asian centric industrial drilling operator given the high levels of drilling activity in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and West Africa which continues to anchor and build strong demand for premium jackup rigs.”

Espen Lundaas, Standard Drilling’s CFO, said:

“The newbuild activity that we see in today’s market is driven by a need for a global fleet renewal, which is expected to increase in the future. As long as there are rigs available in the market, the high-end units will be preferred over the older and second rated ones.

“This provides strong impetus for us to fast track fleet expansion, in catering to higher levels of drilling activity in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and West Africa.

Keppel FELS and its offshore yards have delivered 33 KFELS B Class series rigs for operations in various parts of the world to date.

Developed by Keppel’s technology arm, Offshore Technology Development, the KFELS B Class jackup is designed to provide maximum uptime with reduced emissions and discharges.

For its environmental-friendly features, the KFELS B Class design was bestowed the Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award from Institution of Engineers Singapore in 2009, said Keppel Corp. Readily upgradable to higher performance capabilities, the rig incorporates advanced and fully-automated high capacity rack and pinion elevating system, and a self-positioning fixation system.

When completed, Standard Drilling’s rigs will be able to operate in water depths of 400 feet, drilling depth of 30,000 feet and accommodate 120 men.

Dynamic Offshore Drilling

Separately, Keppel FELS will be delivering a KFELS B Class jackup drilling rig to Vision Drilling Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dynamic Offshore Drilling Limited, in the first quarter of 2013. The rig will be able to operate in water depths of 350 feet with a drilling depth of 30,000 feet and accommodate 120 men.

Dynamic Offshore Drilling has the option to build an additional rig to be exercised before the third quarter of 2011.

With 33 such units delivered worldwide, the KFELS B Class design continues to be the preferred jackup choice for drilling operators.
Naresh Kumar, chairman of Dynamic Offshore Drilling, said:

“While this is Dynamic Offshore’s first collaboration with Keppel FELS, we are no strangers to its excellent project execution and dedication to safe, on-time and within-budget deliveries. My team and I have previously worked very closely with the Keppel FELS team on two KFELS B Class jackup rigs which have been deployed under long term contracts with strong day rates with a Fortune 500 National Oil Company.

“After the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, oil companies around the world prefer newbuild premium rigs with enhanced safety features and equipment reliability. With over 60% of the current Jack up fleet over 25 years old, it is an impetus for us as experienced drilling contractors to invest in premium high quality jackups with the world’s leading shipyard.”

John Gellert, President of Seacor Marine LLC and a board member of Dynamic Offshore Drilling, said:

“Seacor is pleased to be a part of the project as an investor and joint venture partner in Dynamic Offshore Drilling. With the long term rising demand for premium jackups, we are looking forward to the development of Dynamic Offshore Drilling.”

The rig is equipped with enhanced features to expand the operational coverage of the rig. Provisions have been made for the rig to work in high pressure high temperature environments and have Offline Stand Building capabilities.

Based in Cyprus, Dynamic Offshore Drilling, a member of the Jaguar Group, operates in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. It operates in the offshore drilling business through wholly-owned subsidiary Deepwater Drilling & Services Pvt Ltd.

Gulf Drilling International

Earlier, Keppel FELS said it will be building two high-specification KFELS B Class Bigfoot jackup rigs for Qatar’s Gulf Drilling International (GDI) Ltd by the third quarter of 2014. The two rigs will increase GDI’s jackup fleet count to seven units.

Customised to GDI’s requirements, the rigs will be designed to operate in the higher ambient temperature of the Middle East. The KFELS B Class Bigfoot is equipped with larger spud cans for reduced bearing pressure and expands its operational coverage in more places, especially areas where soft soil is predominant.

GDI’s new rigs also feature an enhanced leg design for added robustness. Each rig will have a full 15,000 psi BOP system, 75-feet cantilever outreach and be able to accommodate 150 persons.

Tong Chong Heong, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd’s CEO, said:

“We are pleased to work with GDI again, having successfully delivered two KFELS B Class jackup rigs to them previously. On top of its newbuilding contracts with Keppel FELS, GDI is also upgrading and repairing its rigs at Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine, our joint venture shipyard with Qatar Gas Transport Company. We look forward to supporting GDI as they expand their offshore fleet and presence in the Middle East.”

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, GDI chairman, said:

“The two new hi-tech premium jackup rigs will … serve as the cornerstone of an expansion plan that is geared to increasing GDI’s share of the Qatar drilling market. GDI is driven to become a key provider of drilling rig services and to be the drilling contractor of choice in Qatar.”
Ibrahim J. Al-Othman, GDI’s CEO, said:

“GDI has become the leader of Qatar’s drilling market in a matter of just six years. The decision to select Keppel FELS was carefully considered after taking into account factors such as rig design, rig equipment, experience in building jackup rigs, reliability, timing, cost and post construction support. We believe they produce a technically superior rig.”

Keppel FELS said it had already delivered two KFELS B Class jackup rigs, Al-Khor and Al-Zubarah, ahead of schedule, within budget and safely to GDI.

A joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP 60%), Qatar’s state oil company, and Japan Drilling Co Ltd (JDC 40%), GDI was established as the first oil and gas drilling company in Qatar on May 18 2004.

Keppel FELS is a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, a wholly-owned company of Keppel Corporation Limited.