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.
Asia Offshore Drilling Limited (the “Company”) has decided to increase the water depth capacity from 350 feet to 400 feet for its three jack-up rigs under construction. This investment will increase the marketability of the rigs, allowing them to successfully operate in more offshore areas.
The additional capital expenditure to extend the legs is estimated to be below US$ 5 million per rig. These upgrades will have some impact on the delivery schedule of the first two rigs, as the first rig will be delivered in the first calendar quarter of 2013 and the second rig will be delivered by the end of the second calendar quarter of 2013. The delivery of the third rig remains unchanged at the end of the third calendar quarter of 2013.
The Board believes these upgrades will improve the long-term return on investment for the Company’s shareholders. The Company has an option for construction of one more jack-up rig at Keppel FELS that matures on September 30, 2011. The Board has resolved to not exercise this option. Given the prevailing uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets, the Board’s objective is to enhance the quality, marketability and value of the existing rigs rather than incur additional financial risk by ordering a fourth rig. The decision not to exercise the option will ensure that the Company remains fully financed up to the delivery of the first rig in 2013.
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A significant part of Keppel FELS’ workscope on Scarabeo 9 involved the completion and commissioning of marine and drilling systems onboard. The rig was named today by Lady Sponsor, Mrs Anna Tatka, spouse of Mr Pietro Franco Tali, CEO of Saipem.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Tali said, “With Keppel’s proven track record, we were confident of receiving a rig of the highest quality delivered on time and in a safe manner. This sixth generation rig will be an important addition to our fleet as we expand our foothold to be one of the best balanced turnkey operators in the offshore and marine industry.”
The Frigstad D90 semisubmersible rig is equipped with a Dynamic Positioning 3 system and will be capable of operating in water depths of up to 3,600 meters.
Mr Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine, added, “In completing this complex rig, we leveraged our in-house engineering expertise, proven project management and execution capabilities to ensure quick turnaround times in providing value added solutions.
“We thank Saipem for their trust in us and are glad to be able to demonstrate our capabilities with this safe and on time delivery. This extends to all our projects for Saipem, including the completion of Castorone at Keppel Shipyard. We look forward to supporting Saipem as they grow their fleet of high specification products for different parts of the world.”
Keppel’s current projects for Saipem include the completion of a newbuild pipe laying vessel, Castorone, which is being jointly undertaken by Keppel Shipyard and Keppel Singmarine.
Saipem has also previously sent the Saipem 7000, a semisubmersible crane and pipelaying vessel, for drydocking at the Keppel Verolme shipyard in the Netherlands in 2007. More recently, Keppel Verolme completed the repair and modification of the semisubmersible pipelay vessel, Castoro Sei.
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