AOD Exercises Option to Build 2 R-550D Jackups at China's CSSC HPWC Yard

Hong Kong-listed TSC Group Holdings Limited (TSC) reported Monday that its wholly-owned subsidiary Alliance Offshore Drilling (AOD) exercised options to build two additional R-550D jackups at CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipyard (HPWS) in Guangzhou, China. The contract was signed on the basis of achieving the objectives of the strategic alliance between TSC, HPWS and Zentech Inc (Zentech).

The R-550D is a Zentech designed, high-specification ABS classed mobile offshore jackup drilling unit, capable of operating in water depths of up to 400 feet. The rig features an extended cantilever reach, zero discharge, high capacity drilling systems and high performance features which were optimized to increase both safety and efficiency. The R-550D is compatible with most existing rig footprints but has bigger spud cans and higher leg strengths which tailor the rig to suit the requirements of most major drilling locations.

The contract signing follows the continued positive market response received for the first R-550D rig, AOD1, which is currently in the final phase of installation and commissioning at HPWS. Meeting with the press after the signing ceremony, TSC Chairman, Jiang Binghua said “We are very pleased with this opportunity which is based on the strong foundation and excellent collaboration established during the AOD1 construction. Today’s R-550D signing signifies TSC and our alliance partner’s abilities to provide a rig for the future which is cost effective and technologically superior.” TSC, through its subsidiary AOD, is committed to achieving excellent standards and quality established during the AOD1 construction to ensure that the two additional R-550D rigs are delivered safely, on time and on budget.

Chen Zhongqian, the chairman of HPWS, also said today at the contract signing ceremony that “we are committed to a long term strategy on the oil and gas sector and we are firmly of the belief that the R-550D offers the best value for money for the future of jackups.” These projects emphasizes the long term commitment and confidence of the strategic alliance partners, HPWS, Zentech and TSC, in promoting HPWS to the forefront of the global offshore marine construction industry. The current R-550D under construction was undocked May 15 on schedule with commendable safety and quality standards. Performance of the rig is augmented by the support of experienced professionals on the project management teams.

Ramesh Maini, the President of Zentech commented that the R-550D is designed to provide higher capability in Rack Phase Difference (RPD), going on/off location wave criteria, full preload jacking and longer drilling reach in comparison to other rigs in the same class of rigs for 400 feet water depth.

The rig is highly regarded as one of the most progressive being built in China. Although prevailing oil price and the supply situation of jackups are generally seen by observers as unfavorable for further new rigs, the alliance partners are confident of the cost competitiveness due to the superior and innovative features of the R-550D. These features will enhance safety factors and enable better drilling and moving efficiency which will deliver better economic returns to its owners and operators compared to other rigs.


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