JUNE 4, 2013 — Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd through its subsidiaries Caspian Rigbuilders BV (an affiliated company of Keppel FELS) and Caspian Shipyard Company (CSC), has secured a contract from Caspian Drilling Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), to build a semisubmersible drilling rig, which includes owner furnished equipment, worth about US$800 million.
Scheduled for delivery in fourth quarter 2016, the rig will be built to Keppel FELS' proprietary DSS 38M design, which has been customized for the Caspian Sea's harsh environmental conditions.
Jointly developed and owned by Keppel's Deepwater Technology Group and Marine Structure Consultants, the DSS 38M design is an enhanced design of the successful DSSTM 38 rigs (pictured left) that are operating in Brazil.
The DSS 38M is designed for a drilling depth of up to 40,000 ft and operations in 1,000 m water depth. To meet the customer's requirements, it has been outfitted to include an 800 m self-contained eight point mooring system designed to meet high wind speeds in the harsh Caspian environment. The pontoons have been designed for the rig to transit in channels with shallow draft of less than seven meters.
Mr. Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel O&M said, "Keppel O&M will harness the synergies of its global network of yards in the design and construction of this rig."
Keppel's shipyard in Azerbaijan, CSC, will carry out the fabrication, integration, testing and commissioning of the rig while its joint-venture yard with SOCAR, Baku Shipyard LLC, will undertake part of the fabrication of the pontoons and columns. Keppel FELS will provide engineering, procurement and technical support.
"Keppel O&M has built up a strong track record in delivering significant projects for Azerbaijan and this latest order is an affirmation of our abilities to deliver to our customer's need," said Mr. Tong. "Having operated in Azerbaijan since 1997 and developed a strong partnership with SOCAR, we understand the requirements for rigs to operate in the Caspian environment.
"This is an important market with great potential which is why we have added another yard, Baku Shipyard, to our capabilities here. Together, our yards are able to provide value-added solutions and extend our offerings for the Caspian Sea. We have tailored the DSS 38M design as a cost-effective rig equipped with the latest safety and environmental features to operate efficiently in the Caspian Sea," added Mr. Tong.
The President of SOCAR, Rovnag Abdullayev, said, "We are keen to expand our offshore drilling program to drill wells such as the Babak and Absheron fields in addition to the Shah Deniz field. We have ordered the first of our new next-generation rigs from Keppel. We are confident that the Keppel-designed rig is a robust and efficient rig that will increase our offshore drilling capabilities."