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Gulf of Mexico: Stone Energy Hires Ensco Semi

Stone Energy  has contracted an ENSCO 8500 series dynamically positioned deep water drilling rig for Stone’s Cardona oil development program at Mississippi Canyon 29.

Drilling on the first Cardona well is expected to commence during the second half of 2013 followed by the drilling of the Cardona South well. Stone plans to tie back both wells to the 100% owned Pompano platform with production projected for late 2014. Stone holds a 65% working interest in the Cardona wells and will be the operator.

Chairman, President and CEO David Welch stated, “The signing of the Ensco contract allows us to move forward to more fully develop the reserves around the Pompano platform. These Stone-operated deep water wells allow us to be in control of the planning and timing of the Cardona project. After years of preparation, we look forward to progressing our deep water development and exploration efforts.”

Separately, the ENSCO 81 jack-up rig is expected to begin drilling on a three to four well conventional shelf/deep gas drilling program in May 2013. Stone expects to drill the Hammerlock oil prospect located on South Timbalier 100, followed by the Taildancer oil prospect located on Ship Shoal 113. The remaining one or two wells will follow Taildancer. Also in May 2013, the Parker 50B inland barge rig is expected to spud an infield oil well prospect in the Stone-operated Clovelly field. Stone holds a 94% working interest in Hammerlock and a 100% working interest in Taildancer and Clovelly.

At the La Cantera liquids-rich deep gas field, the third well was successfully drilled to 18,000 ft and is currently in completion operations with first production expected in June 2013. Combined with the first two wells, gross production from this field is projected at over 100 MMcfe per day (over 25 MMcfe per day net) when the third well commences production. Stone holds a 34.6% non-operated working interest in the field.

Drilling operations at the deep water Malachite prospect located on Mississippi Canyon 258 are complete. The well has been logged and marginal hydrocarbons were found in several sands. The partners have decided not to proceed with the project and the well is currently being plugged and abandoned. Stone holds a 40% non-operated working interest in the prospect and the net well cost is estimated at approximately $22 million.

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Mexico: PEMEX Considering Construction of Eight to Twelve New Jack-up Rigs

Emilio Lozoya Austin, CEO of Mexico’s state-controlled oil company PEMEX, has visited Keppel Fels shipyard in Singapore, where the company’s two jack-up rigs are under construction, said PEMEX in a press release issued on Wednesday.

The rigs, of KFELS B Class jackup design, are scheduled for delivery in 2015. The two jack-ups, able to operate in water depths of up to 400 feet and drill to depths of 30,000 feet, will be deployed in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

During his visit, Lozoya Austin said that PEMEX is undergoing the most ambitious drilling program in decades. He said that the Mexican oil company is working to become an oil company with the world’s highest number of jack-up rigs in operation.

Lozoya Austin also added that, as a part of Pemex’s rig fleet expansion program, eight to twelve new offshore jack-up rigs will be constructed. Pemex currently operates 41 offshore drilling rigs, five of which are semi-submersibles and 36 of those are jack-ups.

The head of PEMEX, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer at 2.5 million barrels per day, also visited the Jurong shipyard SembCorp and SembCorp PPL.

PEMEX Considering Construction of Eight to Twelve New Jack-up Rigs| Offshore Energy Today.

McDermott Lands Two Rig Repair Contracts (Mexico)

McDermott International, Inc. has been awarded contracts to refurbish and undertake rig repair work at the McDermott Altamira fabrication facility in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

The two jack-up rigs are the Friede & Goldman L-780 Mod II design and will undergo significant improvement work to re-instate them to ABS classification. This will include steel hull, piping, machinery, and electrical renewal, as well as blasting, painting and commissioning support. Work is scheduled to begin in the last quarter of 2012.

McDermott’s Altamira fabrication facility offers an ideal location to accommodate rigs and semi-submersible hulls with its expansive 1,640-foot quayside, water depth of 41 feet and less than three nautical miles tow distance to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

McDermott Lands Two Rig Repair Contracts (Mexico)| Offshore Energy Today.

Hercules Offshore Buys More Shares in Discovery Offshore S.A.

Discovery Offshore S.A. announced today that Hercules Offshore Inc.  has on 8 August 2012 acquired 2,658,500 shares in Discovery Offshore at an average price of approximately NOK9.50 per share.

Following the acquisition, Hercules Offshore holds 21,012,834 shares in the Company, corresponding to 32.1% of the share capital. Two members of the Discovery Offshore Board are executives of Hercules Offshore. Discovery Offshore is a Luxembourg-based public limited liability company incorporated in January 2011 for the purpose of owning new ultra high specification jackup drilling rigs.

The Company’s main assets are two Keppel FELS Super A high specification harsh environment jackup rigs currently under construction, with delivery scheduled for the second quarter and fourth quarter of 2013, respectively.

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Texas (Brownsville): Keppel Gets Jack-up Rig Order from Mexican Company

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Keppel AmFELS LLC, a US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has won a contract from Mexico’s Perforadora Central SA de CV (Perforadora Central) to build a repeat jackup rig worth US$205 million.

Slated for delivery in 1Q 2014, this latest high specification unit will be based on the LeTourneau Super 116E design with leg lengths of 511 ft and the capability to drill wells up to 30,000 ft at a water depth of 375 ft.

Mr Tan Geok Seng, President of Keppel AmFELS, said, “Keppel AmFELS has had a great relationship with Perforadora Central that dates back to 2002. Once again, we are honoured to be building another jackup, our fourth, for Perforadora Central and are very grateful to them for their continued trust and confidence in us.

“We have endured the post-Macondo challenges well. Having recently secured the Ocean Onyx semisubmersible major upgrade and a series of repairs, this newbuild jackup adds to a healthy workload through 1Q 2014. We also continue to pursue projects from Pemex and we are optimistic about our chances.”

In keeping with its tradition of safe, on-time and within-budget deliveries, Keppel AmFELS completed Tonala, an ultra premium KFELS B Class jackup rig for Perforadora Central in 2004, followed by Tuxpan, a LeTourneau S116E rig in 2010. The Papaloapan jackup, which was ordered by Perforadora Central in March 2011, is under construction and on track for delivery 1Q2013.

Perforadora Central expressed, “With each successive project, Keppel AmFELS has reaffirmed its expert project management and construction capabilities, as well as commitment to the highest standards of safety and quality.

“Our Tonala and Tuxpan jackups are turning in excellent performances for PEMEX in Mexico while construction of Papaloapan is ahead of schedule. We are just as confident that our latest newbuild by Keppel AmFELS will be another exceptional product to boost our track record and establish us as the foremost provider of drilling solutions in Mexico.”

Perforadora Central is a Mexican company providing offshore and onshore drilling service mainly for PEMEX.

The above contract is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the current financial year.

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