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May 30, 2005

Maersk orders semis at Keppel FELS

A.P. Moller--Maersk has ordered two deepwater development semi-submersibles at Keppel FELS Limited in Singapore. The new rigs are expected to be delivered in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

The rigs will be able to operate in water depths up to 10,000 ft and are designed for the moderate environmental conditions found in areas such as West Africa, Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Asia.

"Great emphasis has been made on improving the drilling efficiency on the new rigs, which are particularly well suited for deepwater development drilling," says Maersk.

The rigs feature a dynamic positioning system as well as the ability to attach to a pre-laid mooring system. 180 people can be accommodated onboard.

"Exploration in deeper water by Oil Companies has turned out good results and now enters the development phase. In a response to our customers' request for lower cost development solutions, we have--together with Keppel FELS, Singapore and Marine Structure Consultants, Holland--designed a high efficiency rig to support our customers' ambitions," says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO, Maersk Contractors.

"We have awarded the contract to Keppel FELS based on past experience and their proven reputation to deliver on time. We believe that we have an excellent team for our expansion in the deepwater market."

Keppel FELS Ltd says the contract is worth S$780 million (about US$470 million).

Under the agreement, Maersk will supply the drilling and other equipment. The contract also carries an option for an additional unit of a similar design and capacity, to be exercised within 12 months and subject to price adjustment for steel material and equipment price, labour and currency fluctuations.

The two development deepwater semi-submersibles are expected to be delivered in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Maersk has chosen the proprietary design, the DSS 21, developed by Keppel's Deepwater Technology Group (DTG) and Marine Structure Consultants (MSC).

In customizing the rigs for deepwater development operations, the partners have drawn from extensive customer input and operational experiences from the semisubmersible Maersk Explorer a DSS 20 design from the DTG/MSC team, built by Keppel FELS for the Caspian Sea in 2003.

The award of the two rigs is Keppel's second major contract from Maersk this year, following an order for four jackup rigs awarded in March.

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