Keppel FELS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has secured a contract to build a jackup rig worth US$206 million from repeat customer Grupo R, a Mexican drilling company.
Scheduled for delivery in 4Q 2015, the jackup rig will be built to Keppel's proprietary KFELS B Class design. It will be added to the fleet of another four similar rigs that Keppel FELS is building for Grupo R.
With this new contract, Keppel FELS currently has on order nine KFELS B Class jackup rigs from Mexican customers.
Mr Wong Kok Seng, Managing Director (Offshore) of Keppel O&M and Managing Director of Keppel FELS, said, "We are delighted that Grupo R has chosen to build another jackup rig of the KFELS B Class design with us. It is an affirmation of their confidence in our rig designs as well as our project execution capabilities. The KFELS B Class is an industry leading jackup design with a proven track record in the Gulf of Mexico.
"With this order, there will be 65 KFELS B Class rigs in the market by 2015, of which some 13 rigs are for Mexico. We are glad to be able to support Mexico's exploration of its offshore energy reserves and look forward to providing them with on time, on budget and safe deliveries."
Mexico's President, Enrique Pena Nieto, announced in March this year that the country's proven reserves of oil and gas at the start of 2013 has risen to 13.87 billion barrels of crude-oil equivalent. PEMEX, the Mexican national oil company has stated their aim to increase production with plans to add between eight and 12 offshore platforms to its drilling fleet. In its quarterly results in February 2013, the company unveiled investment plans of US$25.3 billion for 2013, of which US$20 billion will be targeted at upstream activities.
Mr. Ramiro Garza Vargas, CEO of Grupo R said, "Mexico is aiming to boost oil production through increased E&P with PEMEX looking for a number of new high specification rigs that can optimise their operations. The addition of this premium jackup rig to the four KFELS B Class jackups we ordered earlier will enable us to meet their requirements and strengthen our position as the leading player in Mexico's drilling industry.
"Building repeat rigs in a leading yard like Keppel FELS will ensure standardisation of high quality rigs delivered safely and on time for our customers. We are also able to reap efficiencies in the construction, training, daily operations and maintenance."
Customised to Grupo R's requirements, this rig will be able to operate in water depths of up to 400 feet and drill to depths of 30,000 feet.
Developed by Keppel's technology arm, Offshore Technology Development, the KFELS B Class rigs incorporate Keppel's advanced and fully-automated high capacity rack and pinion jacking system, and Self-Positioning Fixation System.
It provides maximum uptime with reduced emissions and discharges. For its environmental-friendly features, the KFELS B Class design was bestowed the prestigious Engineering Achievement Award from the Institution of Engineers Singapore in 2009.
Keppel FELS recently delivered two KFELS B Class rigs, Primus and Laurus, to Mexican company, Oro Negro in December 2012 and May 2013 respectively. Two other similar rigs, the Tonala and Ocean Scepter, have also been operating successfully in Mexico.
The above contract is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the current financial year.