Keppel to Revamp 2 of Noble's Brazil-Based Drillships

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), through its subsidiary, Keppel FELS Brasil, has secured contracts from Noble Corporation (Noble) to upgrade and repair two of Noble's Brazil-based drillships for US$304 million (S$421.6 million).

The scope of work covers the fabrication, repair and replacement of components, including the stern section, accommodation blocks, sponsons and heliport.

Work on the drillships, Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason, will be done sequentially at Keppel's BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis, beginning with the arrival of the first drillship by early 2011. The two deliveries are scheduled between the last quarter of 2011 and the first half of 2012 respectively.

Meanwhile, both parties are in advanced talks on the upgrading of a third Brazil-based drillship operated and majority-owned by Noble.

Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel O&M said, "Keppel O&M's network of global yards continues to advance the Group as the choice partner for the building, repair, upgrading and completion of offshore vessels across the world.

"We are greatly encouraged that Noble has chosen to work with Keppel FELS Brasil again. We hope to deepen this valued relationship and affirm their trust in our commitment to deliver the projects safely, on time and within budget."

When completed, Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason will be deployed offshore Brazil to meet the requirements of Petrobras' extensive drilling plans.

BrasFELS has recently completed the upgrade of semisubmersible the Noble Paul Wolff and is currently assisting Noble with the final stages of the Company's Noble Dave Beard, which arrived in Brazil earlier this year.

Tong added, "We have been equipping the BrasFELS yard and training our workers to take on more sophisticated jobs over the years, transferring expertise, technology and systems from our Singapore yards to Brazil.

"As a result, our BrasFELS yard is today the most comprehensive offshore and marine facility in Latin America, and has been able to help to meet Brazil's requirements for greater local content.

"I am confident that we have prepared our BrasFELS yard well to participate meaningfully in the new jobs from Petrobras and drillers operating in Brazil and the region."

The contracts are not expected to have material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corporation for the current financial year.