Keppel FELS Enters the Newbuild Drillship Market

Keppel Corporation Limited revealed Wednesday that following positive feedback and strong enquiries from the market, Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned unit of the company's subsidiary Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), is proceeding with the building of its new CAN DO drillship. When completed in 2016, the drillship is expected to be a state-of-the-art deepwater exploration, development and completion drilling vessel.

Chow Yew Yuen, chief operating officer and CEO-Designate, Keppel O&M, commented, "As with all our market established proprietary designs, our new CAN DO drillship design was developed in close consultation with customers, major oil companies and vendors. The newly developed design is capable of handling next generation 20K (20,000) pounds per square inch (psi) blowout preventers.

"While most modern drillships currently in operation were designed and built for exploration drilling, industry feedback has revealed the need for vessels capable of performing development and completion drilling in addition to exploration drilling. Since the launch of our design earlier this year, we have received very encouraging response from the market, and we have decided to start constructing the first drillship to this design. We believe the drillship meets the high functionality, safety and cost-effective requirements of the industry."

Jointly developed by Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre (KOMtech), the R&D arm of Keppel O&M, and its design partner GustoMSC, Keppel's CAN DO drillship is designed to overcome the constraints of limited deck space found in most modern day drillships.

Apart from incorporating exploration drilling requirements, the design allows for the installation of third party equipment invariably required for development and completion drilling through the incorporation of a large functional deck space. In addition, the drillship has a double blowout preventer stack integrated into the design, and has a riser hold capacity meeting 12,000 feet water depth with the flexibility of storing either 75-foot or 90-foot long risers.

The drillship has been model tested at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) facility in the Netherlands and has also obtained class approval for the basic design. A full 3D model has been created for construction purposes.

A further announcement will be made once a firm contract has been secured for this drillship unit.


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