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December 2, 2010

Mermaid affiliate orders jack-up rigs at Keppel FELS

Singapore's Keppel FELS Limited has signed a contract to build two jack-up rigs worth US$360 million with Asia Offshore Drilling Limited, a 49 percent owned affiliate of Bangkok, Thailand, headquartered Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited. This follows a Letter of Intent entered into by Keppel FELS and Mermaid on 22 October 2010.

The two proprietary KFELS B Class jack-up rigs are scheduled for delivery in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

As part of the contract, AOD has been given options by the shipyard to build another two similar jack-up units. If exercised, the options for the additional two rigs will bring the total contract value to above US$720 million.

AOD was set up as a special investment vehicle for the acquisition and operation of the two just-ordered rigs and raised $100 million in a recently completed private placement, with Mermaid's 49 percent stake representing a $49 million subscription.

Mr. Chandchutha Chandratat, Executive Chairman of Mermaid Maritime, said, "This latest contract represents a significant order from an Asian drilling company, and is in line with Mermaid's goal to be a long-term owner of high specification modern drilling assets in the region.

"I am pleased to announce that the response from investors in the recent equity placement exercise conducted for the two rigs was most encouraging. With that, we have been able to put in place the necessary funding for our new fleet expediently.

"This reflects the market's confidence in Mermaid's capabilities as an operator, and in our choice of partnering Keppel FELS, the world's leading offshore rig designer and builder, to construct the proven KFELS B Class jackup rig design."

The KFELS B Class jack-up design is developed by Keppel's technology arm, Offshore Technology Development. When completed, AOD's rigs will be able to operate in water depths of 350 feet, drilling depth of 30,000 feet and accommodate 150 men.


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