Keppel FELS Receives Kudos From Diamond Offshore

Upgrading and enhancing the capability of Ocean Baroness is to date one of the most complex conversions of semi-submersibles in the world but Keppel FELS Limited (KFELS) did it so well it earned not only a cash bonus but also another similar contract from Diamond Offshore to upgrade the sister rig, Ocean Rover.

The US$60 million project on Ocean Baroness only took 17 months and was delivered well ahead of schedule and on budget as well. While work was still in progress in November 2001, the owner, Diamond Offshore was so satisfied with the job that they awarded KFELS with the contract on Ocean Rover.

Mr Lawrence Dickerson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Diamond Offshore said, "The upgrading of the Ocean Baroness was an outstanding workmanship by Keppel FELS. The timely delivery of this rig will bring substantial benefits to us. The Ocean Baroness will be the choice tool in the next phase of deepwater drilling."

KFELS, the offshore arm of Keppel Corporation, provided the detailed design and engineering to enhance this Victory-class semi-submersible with fifth generation capabilities suited for ultra deepwater drilling. Mr. Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director of KFELS said, "There is a growing market for rig enhancement projects, especially in life extension and upgrading. "Rig owners are finding this option attractive due to the faster turnaround time and the significant cost advantage if these projects are carried out successfully. "Keppel FELS, with our design, engineering and strong project management capabilities, has proven itself many times over in successfully carrying out such projects and we are well positioned to be a major player in this market segment. We are aggressively marketing this service, on top of our newbuild expertise."

The Ocean Baroness is capable of operating in water depths of 6,500 feet with approximately 5,500 tons operating variable deck load, 15,000psi blowout preventers and riser with a multiplex control system. Other features include high capacity deck cranes, an enlarged cellar deck area and a 25 feet by 90 feet moon pool that will provide enhanced subsea completion and development capabilities. First built in 1973, the Ocean Baroness will be deployed in Sarawak, East Malaysia, for Murphy Oil.

Work on Ocean Rover has commenced in KFELS Pioneer Yard and is expected to be complete by May 2003.