This will be G.E. Shipping's first newbuild drilling rig and is scheduled for delivery by the fourth quarter of 2009.
It will be further customized to meet G.E. Shipping's operational requirements for water depths of up to 350 feet and readily upgradeable to 400 feet. The rig will have capabilities to drill in 30,000 feet water depth and can accommodate 112 men.
Said Mr. K.M. Sheth, Executive Chairman of G.E. Shipping, "The exploration and production (E&P) sector is developing rapidly. We want to be able to meet this growth, both in the Indian market as well as globally. With its excellent track record in the design, engineering and construction of jackups, we are very happy to sign this contract with Keppel FELS.
"We are confident that the KFELS B Class, a field-proven design, will meet our drilling requirements in serving the offshore oil and gas industry."
Said Mr. Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director and COO of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), "Keppel FELS is glad to partner G.E. Shipping in pursuing its growth plans in the E&P arena. There are vast opportunities in India. With our proven design, engineering and construction expertise, Keppel is well poised to provide solutions for this growing market.
"The growing number of rig orders for our KFELS B Class design demonstrates its strength as the rig of choice for trend-setting oil companies and drilling contractors."
According to India's national oil company, Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), it aims to double E&P reserves to six billion tons by 2020, out of which four billion tons are from deep waters.
G.E. Shipping is also a regular customer of Keppel Shipyard, which has undertaken repair of tankers, bulk carriers and Liquefied Petroleum Gas carriers for the company since 2002.
G.E. Shipping is listed on The Stock Exchange, Mumbai, India; National Stock Exchange, Mumbai, India (INR); and Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where their Global Depository Receipts (GDR) is listed.
Keppel FELS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation Limited through Keppel O&M, which a leader in offshore rigs, ship repair and conversion as well as specialized shipbuilding. Keppel O&M's near market, near customer strategy is bolstered by a global network of 17 yards in the Asia Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the Caspian Sea, Middle East and the North Sea regions. Integrating the experience and expertise of its yards worldwide, the group aims to be the provider of choice and partner in solutions for the offshore and marine industry.
The contract is not expected to have material impact on the NTA or the earnings per Keppel Corporation share for FY2006.
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