Keppel readies four rigs for deployment to Saudi Arabia

Keppel Corporation’s subsidiary, Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), has completed the modification works for four KFELS B Class jack-up rigs, which will be deployed on bareboat charters in Saudi Arabia this month.


The rigs are being chartered in pairs to Arabian Drilling Company (ADC) and ADES Saudi Limited Company (ADES) respectively and are expected to generate a total charter revenue of about S$250 million ($174 million) over three to five years.

These four rigs and their bareboat charter agreements form part of Keppel O&M’s legacy rigs and will be transferred to Asset Co, which is majority-owned by external investors, upon completion of the proposed combination of Keppel O&M and Sembcorp Marine.

The rigs chartered to ADC, ARABDRILL110 and ARABDRILL 120, were handed over on 13 October at the shipyard. They are on bareboat charter contracts for three years with options for a year’s extension and will be deployed in Saudi Arabia to work for Saudi Aramco, the country’s national oil company.

ARABDRILL110 and ARABDRILL 120 were handed over in a ceremony on 13 October at the shipyard with H.E. Abdullah AlMahdi, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Singapore, as well as management from ADC and Keppel O&M in attendance.

The rigs for ADES, ADMARINE 683 and ADMARINE 684, which had their modification works completed earlier this month, have been chartered for five years and are also deployed to Saudi Arabia for Saudi Aramco.

Built to Keppel O&M’s proprietary KFELS B Class design, the four modern high-specification rigs are able to operate in water depths of up to 400 feet and drill to 30,000 feet deep. In preparation for their charters in Saudi Arabia, these rigs have been further customised to work for Saudi Aramco.

Tan Leong Peng, Managing Director (New Builds) of Keppel O&M said, “We are pleased that four of our rig assets are being put to productive work and will soon generate recurring income as they embark on their charter contracts with our valued customers ADC and ADES. The project teams at Keppel O&M have worked hard to expedite the rigs’ modification works, enabling these assets to start their charters on schedule in Saudi Arabia.

“As utilisation and day rates continue to rise, we are seeing demand for modern, high-specification jack-up rigs grow. Riding on this growing demand, all our legacy KFELS B Class rigs have been contracted.”

Earlier this week, Keppel entered into an amended and restated framework deed with Borr Drilling to accelerate deliveries of three rigs and defer two others.