DECEMBER 4, 2012 — Singapore's Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has signed a contract with Naftogaz of Ukraine (Naftogaz), to construct two semisubmersible drilling rigs worth about $1.2 billion.
The rigs will be built to Keppel FELS' proprietary DSSTM 38U design which is customized for the Black Sea environment. The harsh weather conditions of the Black Sea include extreme freezing temperatures, storms with strong winds and heavy seas.
Durable grades of steel with increased thickness will form the basis of the structural design of the hull and pontoons of the rigs. They will have winterization features such as machinery cladding, advanced heating systems to prevent equipment and pipe freezing as well as enhanced air conditioning for the living quarters.
Mr. Wong Kok Seng, Managing Director (Offshore) of Keppel O&M and Managing Director of Keppel FELS said, "We are pleased to be chosen by Naftogaz to work on these two complex projects for the Black Sea. Having delivered two jackup rigs for the Black Sea, we understand the specifications necessary for rigs to work in such extreme conditions.
"We have a suite of proprietary semisubmersible designs capable of operating in all frontiers. Coupled with our experience in building harsh environment rigs and the strong partnership we have built up with Naftogaz, we are confident of delivering robust, high quality rigs that will excel in operations in the Black Sea."
Mr. Evgen Bakulin, Chairman of Naftogaz, added, "The addition of these rigs to our fleet is part of our extensive program to modernize our offshore exploration and production facilities. This will allow us to reach a new level of shelf development in the Black and Azov Seas, rapidly boost our oil and gas production and reduce our imports of natural gas.
"We selected Keppel FELS because they best met our tender requirements and they are a proven partner, having delivered two world class jackup rigs to us. The DSSTM 38U design is for us a new generation and cost effective rig with high specifications. We look forward to continuing this win-win partnership with Keppel as we grow our offshore capabilities."
Jointly developed and owned by Keppel's Deepwater Technology Group and Marine Structure Consultants, the DSSTM 38U design features the latest safety and environmental features. It will have double-skin columns for additional protection to machinery spaces in the event of a ship collision.
In addition, to facilitate safe handling of equipment, the rigs will be equipped with a separate blow-out preventer and "Christmas Tree" (used to control the flow of oil or gas out of the well). A compact, fit-for-purpose pipe handling system capable of performing offline stand building will enable it to handle drill pipes efficiently while drilling. The rigs will be equipped with a 2000 kips drilling derrick suitable for 30,000 feet drilling depth.