ENSCO International Incorporated reported that one of its subsidiaries has finalized the construction contract for an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig to be named ENSCO 8505. The contract for construction of the rig was entered into with Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) Shipyard in Singapore at a total project cost currently projected to be $537 million. Delivery is expected in the first half of 2012.
ENSCO 8505 is the Company's sixth ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig in the ENSCO 8500 Series(R) currently under construction, and will be part of the Company's seven-rig deepwater fleet that includes the ENSCO 7500 which has been in service since 2000. Four of the ENSCO 8500 Series(R) rigs are now contracted to customers for term work commencing upon delivery.
The ENSCO 8500 Series(R) deepwater semisubmersibles are enhanced versions of ENSCO 7500, and are based upon an ENSCO proprietary design. Enhancements include a two million pound quad derrick, offline pipe handling capability, increased drilling capacity, improved automatic station keeping ability and larger living quarters. The 8500 Series rigs will be capable of drilling in up to 8,500 feet of water. With these capabilities and features, the rigs will be especially well-suited for deepwater development drilling.
Daniel W. Rabun, ENSCO's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We expect demand for ultra-deepwater equipment will continue to grow, and that expansion of our 8500 Series deepwater fleet offers an attractive opportunity to participate in this important market. We are excited about the opportunity to again work with Keppel FELS as we pursue a prominent position in deepwater drilling."
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