Saipem to Build New Deepwater Field Development Ship

Saipem will build a new deepwater field development ship, with an overall investment estimated at approximately 380 million euros. The order will be placed with the shipyard in the second quarter of 2008, upon conclusion of the engineering phase. Fabrication will last 36 months.

The new vessel will be named Saipem FDS 2 and will operate alongside Saipem FDS (field development ship), which has been active since 2000. The new Saipem FDS 2 will strengthen Saipem's competitive position in the deepwater field development market in the traditional areas of West Africa, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico; furthermore, it will allow Saipem to seize the opportunities expected in the fast-growing Mediterranean Sea and South-East Asia markets.

The new ship will have a maximum length of 175 meters, moulded breadth of 32 meters and moulded depth of 14.5 meters. Saipem FDS 2 will be equipped with the cutting-edge DP3 dynamic-positioning system, will have a maximum transit speed of 13 knots and be able to accommodate 280 people, in compliance with the most stringent international comfort standards. The vessel will be equipped with a vertical J-lay tower with a maximum capacity of 1,500 tons designed to J-lay sealines of up to 36" diameter, in water depths of up to 3,000 meters; Saipem FDS 2 will also be capable of S-laying sealines of the same diameter.

The new Saipem FDS 2 will allow Saipem to strengthen its competitive positioning in a highly technological and profitable market segment and, together with the new pipelay vessel already under construction, will consolidate Saipem's role as a market leader in the offshore oil services business.