UK based Awilco Drilling has exercised an option to have a second mid-water semisubmersible drilling rig built by Singapore's Keppel Offshore & Marine, the builder announced on Friday.
The option, which Keppel said is worth about $425 million, follows on an order placed with Keppel O&M subsidiary Keppel FELS in March 2018 for the construction of one drilling rig, with independent options for another three. The driller now has options to order up to another two similar rigs in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Similar to the first rig, the second unit will be constructed to Moss Maritime's CS60 ECO MW design and is designed, configured and outfitted for mid-water operations in water depths up to 1,500m and able to work in the harsh environments of North West Europe, including the Barents Sea, Keppel said.
The two rigs on order are scheduled to be delivered in the first quarters of 2021 and 2022, respectively.
"Work on the first rig is progressing well and we will be able to benefit from economies of scale and cost efficiencies from undertaking a repeat project. For this second rig, we will be able to leverage the engineering and construction process of the first rig to further improve productivity," said Tan Leong Peng, Executive Director (Offshore) of Keppel O&M.
He added that the order signals growing confidence in the market.
The notion was reinforced by Sigurd E. Thorvildsen, Chairman of the Board of Awilco Drilling, who said, "We have exercised the first of our three options because we see growing demand for such mid-water, harsh environments rigs in North West Europe."
"Progress on the first rig has been exemplary, and we look forward to receiving this second rig with the hallmark Keppel quality, reliability, timeliness and safety," Thorvildsen added. "Our partnership with the world's leading rig builder, Keppel, enables us to offer our customers confidence in receiving a high specification rig that is purpose-designed, setting a new environmental standard and equipped with the latest technology."
According to the builder, the new drilling rig will have a low environmental footprint and will be equipped with a hydraulic hoisting system capable of two million pounds of lifting capacity, as well as an optimized 12-point thruster assisted mooring system for vessel station keeping, complete with hybrid power supply and energy saving features.
Keppel O&M said it has delivered 25 semisubmersible rigs since 2000.