Keppel firms up Awilco rig award

Following a letter of intent in February, Keppel FELS has secured a contract from Awilco to construct a mid-water semi-submersible drilling rig for harsh environment use, worth about $425 million.

Keppel said on Sunday that, as part of the transaction, Awilco has independent options to order up to another three similar rigs to be exercised within 12, 24 and 36 months respectively.

However, Keppel emphasized that the prices of the three additional rigs are subject to cost adjustments and will only be finalised and announced separately if and when the options are exercised.

Scheduled for completion in 1Q 2021, the rig will be built to Moss Maritime’s CS60 ECO MW design. Compared to the ultra-deepwater CS60, this is a compact version specially designed, configured and outfitted for mid-water operations of up to depths of 1,500m.

Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M, said, “We are pleased to partner Awilco once again, having previously delivered three jack-up rigs to the same management team. It is a testament of their trust and confidence in Keppel’s capabilities and rig-building solutions. We have worked closely with Awilco to customise the CS60 for mid-water and harsh environments. In addition, the use of real time data in the rig’s operations and maintenance will enhance its efficiency and robustness, providing a competitive advantage for harsh environment operations.”

“We will also incorporate Keppel O&M’s cost-effective engineering and construction solutions in this purpose-built rig.”

Boasting a low environmental footprint, the drilling rig is designed for operations in harsh environments, including the Norwegian Continental Shelf, UK Continental shelf and Barents Sea. Equipped with a hydraulic hoisting system capable of two million pounds of lifting capacity, it also features an optimized 12 point thruster assisted mooring system for vessel station keeping, complete with hybrid power supply and energy saving features.

According to Keppel, the rig is also equipped with state-of-the-art digitalization, including condition monitoring systems, which will enhance the drilling efficiency and reliability of the rig, while reducing likelihood of downtime.

Jon Oliver Bryce, CEO of Awilco Drilling PLC, said, “We see growing activity in the harsh environment mid-water rig segment with utilisation increasing, especially in the North Sea. This will be the third semi to join our fleet. With the options to order another three rigs, we are well positioned for the market recovery.”

He added: “The market has a clear preference for high specification rigs from a reliable shipyard like Keppel FELS.”

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