MIS Positions the Middle East as a Hub for Jackup Construction

UAE based Oil & Gas Fabrication Specialists Maritime Industrial Services Co. Ltd. Inc. has made the Middle East a hub for the new-build offshore jackup drilling rig business, with the launch and naming of the second offshore jackup drilling rig being built by MIS, the SeaWolf Onome.

MIS made history in December 2007 when it successfully launched the first offshore jackup drilling rig ever to be built in the Middle East region, the SeaWolf Oritsetimeyin. Continuing the tradition is Seawolf Onome, which was officially named on April 27, 2008.

The two rigs are being built at MIS' Sharjah shipyard under a $254 million contract for SeaWolf Oilfield Services Limited, a Nigerian drilling company. They were originally contracted by Norwegian Mosvold Jackup Ltd. in 2006. The first rig will be handed over in August 2008, followed by the delivery of Seawolf Onome in December 2008. Both rigs are a Friede and Goldman Super Mod 2 design with 30,000 foot rated drilling depth and an operating water depth capability of 300 feet (92 meters).

The design is ideal for off-shore drilling in the Middle East region where the average water depth is 115ft (35 metres) and it has been carefully built to SeaWolf's specifications. "This entire new-build project has met all of SeaWolf's requirements and expectations," Adolor Uwamu, Chief Executive Officer of SeaWolf Oilfield Services said. "Both rigs have progressed on time, on budget and according to schedule and this is a vote of confidence in MIS whom we hope to continue our relationship with," Uwamu said.

According to Peter Convery, President and Chief Executive Officer of MIS, the region has witnessed an increased demand for production and MIS, which currently has a 200,000 m² shipyard in Sharjah and has invested heavily in the local infrastructure, is benefiting from the shortage in capacity in the traditional international shipyards in areas such as Singapore, China and the United States Gulf Coast.

"We expect the demand to increase over the next five years and we are looking for opportunities to expand our yard facilities by seeking out ideal locations in the UAE. We see this as an investment in quality maritime services as well as an investment in the UAE, positioning it as one of the world's best suppliers of oil, gas and petrochemical fabrication services," said Convery.

The increased business for MIS in the offshore jackup drilling rig market has seen the company expand to a 5000-strong operation in the Middle East.

"In addition to growing the MIS business, the new-build line of business serves two additional objectives: firstly creating world-class employment opportunities for professionals in this field, as well as creating an incremental source of business for the GCC oil and gas economy," Convery said.

MIS was established in the UAE in 1979 and was the first GCC company to list on the Oslo Stock Exchange in May 2007. With clients in the UAE, the Middle East and all over the world, MIS follows and meets international safety and production standards.

The naming ceremony was attended by a number of UAE and Nigerian dignitaries as well as clients of SeaWolf and MIS.

The Onome was named after the wife of SeaWolf Oilfields Services Executive Director Remi Okunlola.

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