Keppel, Ensco Inaugurate First of Six 8500 Series of Deepwater Rigs

Keppel FELS Limited and ENSCO International Incorporated have named the first rig in the fleet of six new ENSCO 8500 Series semisubmersibles (semi) worth US $2.5 billion in total.

A strong safety record of 5.5 million incident-free man-hours was achieved by the yard in the construction of this premier rig.

The ENSCO 8500 was named in the presence of Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan by Mrs Carol Garon Durkee, wife of Mr Todd Durkee, General Manager, Gulf of Mexico and International Deepwater of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. This new deepwater rig has been contracted in the Gulf of Mexico to Anadarko and Eni.

Mr Dan Rabun, Chairman, President and CEO of ENSCO, said, "We are pleased with the excellent job by Keppel FELS on our first ENSCO 8500 Series semisubmersible. As she takes on her maiden assignment in the Gulf of Mexico, the ENSCO 8500 will be a showpiece of the quality and capabilities of our new deepwater fleet under construction at Keppel FELS."

Keppel FELS is ENSCO's preferred offshore solutions provider. In the last decade, Keppel has worked closely with ENSCO to build up and renew its rig fleet, which includes the delivery of nine new jackup rigs.

"The win-win partnership we have forged has played an important role in helping ENSCO to build its position among the world's foremost drilling contractors, and in establishing Keppel FELS's reputation as the world's leading rig designer and builder," said Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman and CEO of Keppel Offshore and Marine Limited.

"As ENSCO pursues a prominent position in deepwater drilling, we want to be there to support our valued partner. The rich collective experience and insights we have gained on the ENSCO 8500 semi will certainly enhance the engineering and construction efficiency of the next five units to come."

The ENSCO 8500 Series of deepwater semisubmersibles is an enhanced version of the ENSCO 7500, and is based upon an ENSCO proprietary design.

The 8500 Series rigs will be capable of drilling in up to 8,500 feet of water, and can readily be upgraded to 10,000 feet water-depth capability if required. Enhanced features include a two million pound quad derrick, offline pipe handling capability, increased drilling capacity, greater variable deck load and improved automatic station keeping ability.

With these features, the 8500 Series rigs will be especially well-suited for deepwater development drilling.

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