Keppel FELS Limited has secured a contract to build a US$130 million jackup for Gulf Drilling International Ltd. The jackup, to be named GULF-5, will be delivered by end 2007. This is GDI’s second jackup with Keppel FELS and follows shortly after the first rig, GULF-4, was signed in December 2004. GULF-4, whose keel was laid this morning at the Keppel FELS yard, is due for delivery end 2006. Both GULF-4 and GULF-5 are of Keppel’s proprietary KFELS B class design, and suitable for operation in the Arabian Gulf and Indian waters. When completed, they will form GDI’s fleet of five rigs.
Mr Yousif R. Al-Khater, Managing Director of GDI, shared, “Keppel FELS is our choice partner as they have the tried and tested KFELS B class rigs that are operating successfully in different parts of the world. We are also impressed with their engineering capability and excellent execution of the Gulf-4 currently under construction at their yard. “GDI is rapidly expanding our fleet of rigs to meet the good market opportunities and growing demand for exploration and production in the Gulf region. In the near future, we will also explore other business areas such as accommodation barges and drilling services.” Mr Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer of Keppel Offshore & Marine, said, “We have a close relationship. Keppel FELS is happy to support GDI in their fleet expansion plan. Our strength is in understanding our customers’ business and in tailoring products to meet their needs.”
Keppel FELS is building up its track record of rigs being built for the Arabian Gulf region. In addition to GULF-4 and GULF-5, the company is also constructing a jackup for Abu Dhabi’s National Drilling Company (NDC). Its associate company, Arab Heavy Industries P.J.S.C. (AHI), has also completed the upgrading and refurbishment of two jackups GULF-2 and NPCC SEP-350 for GDI and National Petroleum Construction Company respectively. Keppel FELS is the world leader in the design and construction of jackup rigs, having built 60% of the world’s fleet on order in the last decade. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed Keppel Corporation Limited through Keppel O&M. Keppel O&M is a global leader in offshore rigs and ship conversion and repair as well as a specialised shipbuilder. Its near market, near customer strategy is boosted by a global network of 17 yards in the Asia Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the Caspian Sea, Middle East and the North Sea regions. Integrating the experience and expertise of its yards worldwide, the group aims to be a provider of choice and a partner in solutions for the offshore and marine industry.
GDI is a 60/40 joint venture established in May 2004 by Qatar Petroleum and Japan Drilling Company. The Doha-based JV is acquiring used and newbuild rigs to meet the escalating demands for drilling rigs in Qatar and region. The transaction is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of Keppel Corporation for the financial year ending 2005.
The Arabian Gulf, known also as the Persian Gulf, is made up of seven countries - Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. With 715 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the Arabian Gulf represents over half (57%) of the world's oil reserves. The region represents also 45% of the world total reserve with 2,462 Tcf of natural gas reserves. According to the Energy Information Administration's International Energy Outlook 2003, oil production in the Persian Gulf is expected to reach about 26 million bbl/d by 2010, and 35 million bbl/d by 2020, compared to about 21.7 million bbl/d in 2000. This would increase Persian Gulf oil production capacity to 33% of the world total by 2020, up from 28% in 2000.