Keppel in talks to sell newbuild jack-ups to Borr

Singaporean rig builder Keppel Offshore & Marine is in talks with Oslo-listed driller Borr Drilling about the possible sale of jack-up rigs currently being built by Keppel FELS, a subsidiary of Keppel O&M.

As a response to the Business Times article entitled “Keppel O&M seeks to offload six jack-ups for up to US$960m” and published last Friday, the rig builder’s parent company, Keppel Corporation, on Friday confirmed the story about the discussions for the possible sale of jack-up rigs to Borr Drilling.

According to the article, Keppel and Borr Drilling are believed to have been in talks for the sale and resale of six jack-ups, including one that the yard group has been building without any contract in hand. The article further stated that the other five jack-ups that were under consideration were originally constructed for Grupo R, Clearwater Capital, Falcon Energy Group’s (FEG) unit, FTS Derricks and Fecon.

Keppel explained on Friday that the details and terms of any agreement relating to such sale and purchase have not yet been finalized and are still subject to ongoing negotiations and discussions, and no definitive agreement has been entered into by the relevant parties yet.

Keppel further noted that the article had also referred to the jack-up rig contracted by Grupo R.

When it comes to that part of the article, Keppel said: “There is currently no agreement involving the company or any of its subsidiaries on any potential sale-and leaseback financing arrangement with Grupo R. However, the company is always open to pursuing opportunities for win-win solutions for our customers.”

Earlier this month, Borr took delivery of the first of five jack-up rigs that Keppel is building for the Oslo-listed driller.

The delivery of this rig is part of a bigger deal with Transocean which included the sale of 15 of Transocean’s rigs, i.e. its entire jack-up fleet, to Borr, including five rigs under construction at Keppel FELS.

Keppel last year said that the first three rigs would be delivered between 2017 and 2018, while the remaining two rigs would be delivered in 2020.

Speaking of Borr’s growing fleet, the driller last October signed a master agreement for the acquisition of nine premium jack-up rigs from Sembcorp Marine’s PPL Shipyard.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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