YRS Executes Load-Out for Awilco's Semisub WilPioneer

Yantai Raffles Shipyard Ltd.

Yantai Raffles Shipyard successfully executed the load-out operation for the first of Awilco Offshore's three semisubmersible drilling rigs which are under construction at the YRS shipyard in Yantai, Shandong Province on September 27, 2008.

The lower hull of the Wilpioneer was successfully loaded out onto a floating barge by means of an unprecedented combination of the Gripper Jack System with the shipyard's existing Roller Skidding Method. The hull was subsequently floated off in the dredging area and tugged into the dry dock on September 29, 2008.

Cho Yong Jin, Chief Executive Officer of YRS, said, "The Wilpioneer is the first semisubmersible being built in our shipyard and our adoption of the system has enabled us to execute the load-out the with greater efficiency, lower cost and improved safety. This unique combination system can load structures of up to 40,000 tonnes, which is about three times the weight that other yards can load out using a Gripper Jack System of similar size. We intend to continue to implement this system for future projects."

The Wilpioneer, fully equipped for year round operation in harsh environments, is a GM4000 design rig, with a dynamic positioning system, accommodation unit and ballasting system designed to support duties such as intervention and drilling in water depths of up to 2500ft.

The Construction of the Wilpioneer deckbox is progressing as scheduled at the YRS shipyard and the mating is expected to take place before the end of the year.