The jackup drilling rig is due for delivery in end-2009, and is expected to be deployed in the Gulf of Mexico.
This is the second rig that Keppel AmFELS is building for Perforadora Central. The first unit was delivered in 2004 and is working for PEMEX, Mexico's national oil company. In late 2006, Keppel AmFELS completed the onshore construction of two 220-crew accommodation platforms, HA-KU-M and HA-KU-S, for PEMEX.
Crude oil is a major export of Mexico. The country has in recent years seen a decline in oil production and reserves. With new discoveries such as the Noxal I, the country targets to stem the decline and raise production from the current 3.34 MMb/d mark in 2006.
Mr. Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director & COO of Keppel O&M and Chairman of Keppel AmFELS, said, "Mexico is an important market for Keppel O&M. We are committed to build our track record with Mexican companies such as Perforadora Central by providing them relevant solutions from our suite of products ranging from jackups to semisubmersibles for deepwater exploration and production.
"With our strategic presence in the Gulf of Mexico and our knowledge of the country through the various projects that we have been executing for them, we are poised to be the preferred partner and solution provider in the Mexican offshore market."
Mr. Patricio Alvarez Morphy, President of Perforadora Central, said, "We are pleased to work with a reputable company such as Keppel AmFELS again. We look forward to another high-quality rig that is delivered on time and within budget."
The new jackup will be built to the LeTourneau Super 116E design. With leg lengths of 511ft, the rig can drill wells up to 30,000ft in water depths of 350ft.
Located in Brownsville Texas, Keppel AmFELS is one of the best-equipped offshore yards in the area, serving customers operating in the Gulf of Mexico and internationally.
Keppel AmFELS is currently constructing six newbuild jackups which include four LeTourneau Super 116 jackup rigs for Scorpion Offshore; one KFELS Super B Class jackup rig, Ocean Scepter, for Diamond Offshore; one LeTourneau Super S116E jackup rig, Atwood Aurora, for Atwood Oceanics; and a Sludge Vessel, Red Hook, for New York City's Department of Environmental Protection. Other ongoing repair and refurbishment projects include the Pride Texas for Pride Offshore and the Ocean Yorktown for Diamond Offshore.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation through Keppel Offshore & Marine, Keppel AmFELS engages in the construction, refurbishment, conversion, life extension and repair of a complete range of mobile drilling rigs and platforms. Its comprehensive facilities are first class, including a drydock capable of docking the largest semisubmersible drilling units, and a modern steel processing plant.
Perforadora Central provides offshore and onshore drilling service mainly for PEMEX.
The contract is not expected to have material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of Keppel Corporation for the financial year 2007.
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