Asia Offshore Drilling (AOD) has exercised the first of two options to build a KFELS B Class jackup rig worth US$184 million with Keppel FELS. This rig will be AOD’s third with Keppel FELS and is scheduled for delivery in Q3 2013. AOD, established by Singapore listed Mermaid Maritime, placed orders for two KFELS B Class jackup rigs in December 2010. AOD recently announced the completion of a private placement that will result in Mermaid and Seadrill each having a 33.75% equal shareholding ownership in AOD.
The effectiveness of this option is subject to AOD or a subsidiary entering into a construction contract with Keppel FELS and fulfilling certain conditions precedent.
M.L. Chandchutha Chandratat, chairman of the Board of AOD, said, “We continue to see bifurcation in the jackup market. Oil companies are showing a preference for high-specification jackups for which the KFELS B Class stands out as a choice design. We are therefore strengthening our position as an Asian drilling company with our third KFELS B Class rig order.
“We are also pleased that our strategic decisions were recognized by Seadrill, which is one of the most successful drilling companies in the world. This partnership between Mermaid, Seadrill and Keppel FELS provides AOD with a strong platform to develop its business to serve the Asia Pacific and Middle East markets.”
When completed, AOD’s rigs will be able to operate in water depths of 350 ft, drilling depth of 30,000 ft and accommodate 150 men.