MIS Snares $364MM Contract to Build 2 Jackups for MENAdrill

UAE-based Maritime Industrial Services Co. Ltd. Inc. has taken big strides in its newbuild program by signing its largest contract to-date worth US $364 million for the detail design and construction of two offshore jackup drilling rigs for MENAdrill to be built at its yard in Sharjah, UAE. MENAdrill is a new US $3 billion offshore drilling and services company launched by First Energy Bank based in Bahrain.

The two rigs, Hulls 109 and 110, which will be supplied by MIS on a turnkey basis, are scheduled for delivery on September 30, 2010 and December 31, 2010, respectively. This offers MENAdrill a highly competitive and attractive schedule in line with its fast-track strategy.

The rigs will be built according to a Friede and Goldman (F&G) Super M2 design with 30,000 foot rated drilling depth and an operating water depth capability of 300 feet, making them ideal for offshore drilling in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and South Asia drilling markets. Each rig is fitted with accommodation for 110 people.

MENAdrill, headquartered in Bahrain and launched by First Energy Bank (FEB), will focus on offshore exploration and development drilling in the Arabian Gulf region, North Africa and South East Asia. Launched with strategic partners Gulf Finance House, ADWOC, PFC Energy and Noble Denton, MENAdrill is one of the largest companies of its kind in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa and is established to capitalize on robust demand for oil and gas drilling services being witnessed in the region. Hulls 109 and 110 represent the anchor investment in the MENAdrill fleet.

Commenting about this contract, Jerry Smith, Managing Director of MIS, said, "We are very pleased to enter into this relationship with First Energy Bank. This order is a significant one for MIS on many levels: it is MIS' largest contract to date, it sees MIS expanding its business to new clients and new areas and most importantly, underscores the demand that this region is still witnessing in services across the hydrocarbons delivery chain."

According to Smith, MIS is seeing an increased interest in its rig new-build program. "With this contract, MIS is now looking at a backlog of US $1 billion, a significant achievement for MIS. We expect this strong interest in our new-build program to continue over the next few years in line with the increase in demand for production in the region."

FEB's MENAdrill will use the rigs to provide drilling services under long term contracts to National Oil Companies (NOCs) and International Oil Companies (IOCs) throughout the region.

"We are very pleased to purchase these jackups," said Dr. Esam Janahi, Chairman of First Energy Bank BSC (FEB), the sponsor of MENAdrill. "Slots for new rig construction are very rare in today's market. So when we saw that these contracts fit our fast-track plan for MENAdrill and offered excellent value for money, we moved aggressively to capture them."

With this contract, MIS now has seven offshore jackup drilling rigs under construction in its new-build program. Hull 104, contracted to SeaWolf Oilfield Services, and the first offshore jackup drilling rig to be built in the Middle East, is scheduled for delivery in November 2008 and its sister, the SeaWolf Onome is scheduled for delivery in January 2009.

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