Gulf Drilling International orders another Keppel rig

Qatari drilling contractor GDI has ordered another jack-up drilling rig from Singapore’s Keppel FELS.

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), has secured a contract from Gulf Drilling International Ltd. (q.s.c.) (GDI) of Qatar to build a repeat high-specification KFELS B Class jackup rig worth US$227 million. As part of the contract, GDI has options for two more KFELS B Class rigs for deliveries in 2017.

On the new jack-up, to be named Halul, Keppel FELS has already begun preparations for its scheduled delivery in 1Q 2016 during the course of discussions with GDI. Upon delivery, Halul will be chartered to Qatar Petroleum for five years.

Halul is GDI’s fifth KFELS B Class jackup rig ordered from Keppel. The fourth rig, Dukhan, was recently delivered last month. Les Hat, a similar jack-up, was delivered last year and has been successfully operating for GDI in the Middle East, following in the footsteps of sister rigs, AL Khor and AL Zubarah.

Wong Kok Seng, Managing Director of Keppel O&M (Offshore) and Keppel FELS said, “We are pleased to have been chosen by GDI to build another benchmark jack-up rig for them. The KFELS B Class has established itself as a reliable high specification jackup rig for the Middle East with more than 10 such rigs successfully operating there.

“Besides the newbuild jack-ups, our shipyard in Qatar, Nakilat-Keppel O&M, is also supporting GDI with the construction of a liftboat and the repair and maintenance of their rig fleet. Our strong partnership has been built on a number of successful projects delivered to them over the years and we look forward to continue supporting GDI as they grow in the Middle East.”

Customised to GDI’s requirements, the new jackup rig will be designed to operate in the higher ambient temperature of the Middle East. The KFELS B Class is equipped with larger spud cans for reduced bearing pressure and expands its operational coverage in more places, especially in sea beds where soft soil is predominant. The rig can drill wells through 30,000 feet with a cantilever that can skid out 70 feet from the edge of the hull to drill wells. It features offline stand building capabilities and 7,500 PSI mud pumps, with accommodation for 150 persons.

Ibrahim J. Al Othman, CEO of GDI said, “GDI is pleased to be signing a contract with Keppel FELS once again for this new requirement. We have built a solid relationship with Keppel FELS, who have a reputation for reliability and dependability. The majority of our rigs are of the newer, high spec variety that have been customised to meet the needs of our clients. We make it a point to work closely with our clients in order to satisfy their requirements in a cost effective manner.”

In addition to the jack-up rigs Keppel has built for GDI, Nakilat-Keppel O&M, Keppel’s joint venture shipyard with Qatar Gas Transport Company, is currently constructing a self-propelled and self-elevating liftboat customised for GDI. The yard also has a six-year repair and maintenance contract for GDI’s fleet of jackup rigs operating in the Middle East.

The above contract is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the current financial year.

 

September 16, 2014

 

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