The contract was secured following Keppel FELS's successful delivery of PV Drilling I, a high quality jackup drilling rig, two months ahead of schedule in March 2007.
Like PV Drilling I, the new rig will also be built to the KFELS B Class design. To be named PV Drilling II, it is slated for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Mr. Do Dinh Luyen, Chairman of PV Drilling, said, "Our first new generation rig, PV Drilling I, has nearly completed her maiden drilling assignment, and has been lined up for her second operation. We are very pleased with her performance.
"There is requirement for a substantial amount of exploration and development in the Vietnamese waters in the next few years. For us to meet the tight drilling schedule, we need a very reliable shipyard capable of timely delivery within budget.
"Through our experience with Keppel FELS in the design and construction of PV Drilling I, I am confident that we have made the right choice once again in selecting Keppel FELS for our second high performance jackup."
PV Drilling II will have longer legs compared to its sister rig. It will have the capability of operating in 375 ft of water depth and a drilling depth of 30,000 ft. She will also be able to work in fields with operating requirements for 120 ft air gap.
Mr. Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Keppel O&M, said, "PV Drilling can count on us. We are committed to support them in their rig expansion program. We believe in building long lasting relationships with our customers by working closely with them to meet the needs of their marketplace."
The Keppel Group has been involved in the Vietnamese offshore market for more than 20 years since Keppel FELS first completed the Hoang Sa 1,200 tonnes floating crane in 1984. It also built Vietnam's first rig, the Tam Dao I in 1988. In the interim years, Keppel's participation in the growth and development of Vietnam has widened to include the property and infrastructure businesses.
PetroVietnam Drilling Investment Corp is co-owned by PetroVietnam Drilling. PVD Invest's primary business is investing in oil rigs, equipment and tools which will be provided or leased to the oil companies.
Keppel FELS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation, through Keppel O&M, a leader in offshore rigs, ship repair and conversion and specialized shipbuilding. Keppel O&M's near market, near customer strategy is bolstered by a global network of 20 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 net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corporation for the financial year ending December 31, 2007.
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