UMW to Invest $90 Million in the Naga 3 Jackup

UMW Holdings Bhd will invest about US $90 million for the Naga 3, a new generation jackup, which is slated for completion in 2009.

Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Halim Harun said the joint-venture partner for Naga 3 would be Norway-based Standard Drilling ASA, which in turn was a partner in UMW Group's Naga 2 jackup currently under construction in Batam, Indonesia at a total cost of US $176.5 million.

UMW under its subsidiary UMW Naga Two (L) Ltd has a 51% stake in Naga 2 while the remaining stake is held by Standard Drilling.

"Naga 2 will be delivered in the third quarter next year," he told reporters after the unveiling of Naga 2 model by UMW Holdings chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin at the on-going 11th Asian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Engineering Exhibition (OGA 2007) on Wednesday.

Halim said there would be increasing demand for rigs given the active oil and gas exploration activities in Malaysia and South East Asia over the next three years.

"We are targeting for these rigs to be contracted out to oil companies for their respective offshore exploration programs," he added. UMW's maiden venture into the O&G exploration business was via Naga 1, a semisubmersible, which is 50:50 co-owned by UMW Drilling Co Ltd and Japan Drilling Co Panama Inc.

Halim said: "In just four years, UMW O&G division has transformed into the second largest contributor to the group's profits after the auto division."

He expects the O&G division to perform commendably this year given the bullish outlook in the sector in line with the increasing O&G exploration activities in the region.

Established in 2002, UMW O&G division is currently operating in 12 countries to support the robust O&G upstream activities.

It major customers include Petronas Carigali, Shell Malaysia, Nippon Oil Malaysia, Murphy Oil and Exxon Mobil Malaysia.