Singapore: Keppel to Deliver 4th ENSCO 8500® Series Deepwater Rig on Schedule

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver ENSCO 8503, the fourth of seven ENSCO 8500 Series® semisubmersible drilling rigs being built exclusively for Ensco plc.

ENSCO 8503 is scheduled to commence a two-year primary term with Cobalt International Energy, L.P. in the Gulf of Mexico in early 2011.

The rig was named at Keppel FELS today by Lady Sponsor, Mrs Cynthia Bryant, spouse of Mr Joseph H. Bryant, Chairman & CEO of Cobalt International Energy, L.P., in the presence of Guest of Honour, Ms Ho Ching, Executive Director & CEO of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd.

Ms Ho Ching shared, “The collaboration with Ensco over the last two decades has enabled Keppel FELS to hone its construction and engineering competencies, its human capital development, and safety programmes, burnishing its reputation as a leading rigbuilder.

“Keppel FELS’s execution capabilities and track record have given it a strong edge overseas, and done Singapore proud.”

Mr Daniel W. Rabun, Ensco’s Chairman, President & CEO, said, “Given our long-term relationship and confidence in Keppel FELS, Ensco has awarded Keppel FELS contracts for all seven rigs in the ENSCO 8500 Series®.

“ENSCO 8500 and ENSCO 8501 are the first two deepwater rigs to be certified by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) under NTL No. 2010 – NO5 in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico under the new regulatory framework, and we anticipate similar success for ENSCO 8503.”

“Like her preceding sister rigs, ENSCO 8503 and the remaining three rigs being built are reaping progressive productivity gains, due to Keppel FELS’s accumulated experience and collaboration with Ensco.”

Over the course of completing the first four units of the more than US$3 billion ENSCO 8500 Series® seven-rig fleet, Keppel FELS has trimmed construction lead time by about 1 million manhours, compared to the first unit.

Mr Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel O&M, said, “Keppel has grown with Ensco over the years and witnessed its rise from a fledging energy company to a premier global offshore drilling contractor with a formidable fleet of premium rigs across the world.

“Through the ENSCO 8500 Series® programme, we have sharpened our engineering edge and construction methodology. This has culminated in the exceptional safety record and significant productivity improvements achieved in building ENSCO 8503.

“With the knowledge and insights amassed from the earlier rigs, we remain focused on completing the rest of the ENSCO 8500 Series® fleet, on time, within budget and with the highest safety standards.”

When the ENSCO 8500 Series® is completed, Keppel-built rigs will make up a third of the leading driller’s premium fleet. Construction of the next three rigs remains on schedule with expected deliveries extending to 2012.

About ENSCO 8500 Series®

The proprietary ENSCO 8500 Series® design is capable of drilling in up to 8,500 feet of water, and can be upgraded to 10,000 feet water-depth capability if required. The design includes a 35,000′ nominal rated drilling depth, six ram BOP, two million pound hoisting capacity, 8,000 tons of variable deck load and an open layout well suited for subsea completion activities. Improved visibility from the open deck configuration also enhances safety.

About Ensco plc

Ensco plc  brings energy to the world as a global provider of offshore drilling services to the petroleum industry. Its fleet of eight ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs (including three under construction) and 40 premium jackup rigs are strategically located in the most prolific oil and gas markets around the world and are managed through four major business units: Deepwater, Asia & Pacific Rim, Europe & Africa and North & South America. More than 3,700 Ensco employees work around the clock for its customers. To learn more about Ensco, please visit

About Keppel FELS

Keppel FELS is a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), a wholly-owned company of Keppel Corporation Limited. Keppel O&M is a leader in offshore rig design, repair and construction, shiprepair and conversion and specialised shipbuilding. Its near market, near customer strategy is bolstered by a global network of 20 yards and offices 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 the provider of choice and partner for solutions for the offshore and marine industry.


Source: Kepcorp, August 10, 2010: