Transocean orders two jack-up rigs at Keppel FELS

KFELSsuperBTransocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) reports that a subsidiary has been awarded five-year drilling contracts for two newbuild high-specification jack-up rigs for operations in Thailand for a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX).

The five-year drilling contracts are expected to commence during the first quarter of 2013 and third quarter of 2013, The estimated revenues which could be generated over each five-year contract term are approximately $246 million for each rig, excluding revenues for mobilization, demobilization, and miscellaneous adjustments.

One of Transocean's subsidiaries has executed a shipyard contract with Keppel FELS Ltd. to build both of the high-specification Super B Class  jack-ups. Construction is scheduled to take place at Keppel FELS' yard in Singapore. The combined capital cost for the two rigs is estimated to be approximately $400 million, excluding capitalized interest. Transocean has options to order three additional high-specification  jack-up rigs.

The  jack-up rigs, which are Keppel FELS's latest proprietary design, will be capable of operating in water depths up to 350 feet and constructing wells 35,000 feet deep. The rigs will feature the most advanced offshore drilling technology, including offline tubular handling features and simultaneous operations support. In addition, the rigs will have accommodation for 150 personnel.

Keppel FELS says the rigs are based on the KFELS Super B Class Bigfoot design.

Mr Tong Chong Heong, Chief Executive Officer of Keppel Offshore & Marine, said, "We are seeing encouraging demand in the  jack-up segment, particularly for high-specification rigs that can address tough climatic and field conditions, while meeting stringent safety standards."

He said that new edition KFELS Super B Class Big Foot design was customized to suit Transocean's requirements. "Working with trendsetting customers provides us with channels of input and feedback to improve our technology, as we bring to market a wider range of robust and viable solutions," he noted.

The KFELS Super B Class Bigfoot is designed with larger spud cans, expanding its operational coverage in more places, especially areas where soft soil is predominant. Having larger spud cans limits the extent of soil penetration by the rig's legs, thus enabling the unit to operate efficiently while minimising potential leg extraction problems in soft soil conditions.

A 1.5 million pound drilling system and maximum combined cantilever load of 3,200 kips fuel the Super B Class Bigfoot with great horsepower during drilling operations. In addition, the rig will be installed with offline stand building features in its drilling system package, which allows drilling and the preparation of drill pipes to take place concurrently.

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