Marine Log

September 25, 2006

ENSCO orders another semi

ENSCO International Incorporated (NYSE:ESV) says that one of its subsidiaries has entered into an agreement with the Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) Shipyard in Singapore to construct an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig to be named ENSCO 8502.

The total project cost of ENSCO 8502 is currently expected to be approximately $385 million, with expected delivery to be late in the fourth quarter of 2009.

ENSCO 8502 is the company's third semisubmersible in the 8500 Series, and its fourth deepwater semisubmersible rig.

ENSCO 7500, was delivered in 2000, and ENSCO 8500 and ENSCO 8501, are under construction by Keppel FELS.

ENSCO 8500 and ENSCO 8501 are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, respectively, and are both committed under long-term drilling contracts upon delivery.

That's not the case with the latest newbuild. However, ENSCO Chairman and CEO Carl F. Thorne said tha the company is in discussions with several customers who have expressed interest in ENSCO 8502.

"We have elected to proceed with construction of ENSCO 8502 in advance of securing a firm drilling commitment for the rig as we believe that the window of opportunity to secure a 2009 delivery and achieve a competitive cost for the rig was closing," said Thorne. "With all three of our other deepwater rigs committed well into the future, and with our contract backlog now in excess of $3 billion, we believe that the time was right to act.."

The ENSCO 8500 Series deepwater semisubmersibles are an enhanced version of ENSCO 7500, and are based on an ENSCO proprietary design.

ENSCO says the 8500 Series rigs will be capable of drilling in up to 8,500 feet of water, and can readily be upgraded to 10,000 feet water-depth capability if required. Enhancements include a two million pound quad derrick, offline pipe handling capability, increased drilling capacity, greater variable deck load, and improved automatic station keeping ability. With these features, the 8500 Series rigs will be especially well-suited for deepwater development drilling.