Deepwater Drillship Neptune Explorer Gets $340MM Revamp

Neptune Marine Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed Jasper Investments Limited, has completed a US $340 million upgrade of its deepwater drillship, the Neptune Explorer.

The Pelican Class drillship, acquired in April 2005, has undergone major upgrading and reactivation works at the Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore. Sembawang Shipyard is a subsidiary of Singapore-listed Sembcorp Marine Ltd. It was named at a ceremony this morning by Guest of Honor, Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development, and Ministry of Education.

After almost 36 months of upgrading and conversion, the Neptune Explorer is now a dynamically positioned deepwater drilling rig with a variable deckload of 7,220 metric tonnes. It is equipped to work in water depths of up to 5,000 ft.

The overhaul of the drillship included the installation of a new fifthgeneration drilling package comprising a 1 ½ derrick with an effective pipe
handling system which includes offline stand-building capabilities and cyberbase control system.

Other upgrades involved a complete overhaul of the marine system as well as the installation of a new power generation system giving a max
continuous power output of 25,500 kW, and a new helicopter deck rated for S-92 or equivalent.

Commenting on the completion of the Neptune Explorer's upgrade, Mr. Hans Van Royen, CEO of Neptune Marine Oil & Gas, said, "The reactivation and upgrade of the drillship reflects a milestone for the Neptune Group. We believe that as the global economy recovers, so will the appetite for oil and gas exploration services such as deepwater drilling. Already, we have received interest from several parties and are in active discussions to redeploy the Neptune Explorer."

Neptune Marine Oil & Gas is in the business of acquiring, reactivating and operating offshore drilling vessels which are contracted out to major oil and gas exploration and production companies.

In addition to the Neptune Explorer, the company owns another drillship, the Neptune Discoverer, which was also acquired in April 2005. The Neptune Discoverer is currently deployed off the coast of Venezuela under a four-year contract signed with the Venezuelan state oil company, PdVSA.

The firm also has a semisubmersible, the Neptune Finder, which it acquired in April last year. The Neptune Finder is a second generation semisubmersible. The Company is considering upgrading the vessel for deepwater drilling capabilities to secure a long-term drilling contract for it.