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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Keppel expands foothold in Mexican offshore market with two jackup orders worth US$420 million

Keppel FELS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has won a contract from PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion, a subsidiary of Mexico's national oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), to build two KFELS B Class jackup rigs worth US$420 million.

Scheduled for delivery in 1Q 2015, the high specification rigs will be the 19th and 20th KFELS B Class rigs on order at Keppel, with 36 already delivered in the past decade.

When completed, the two rigs will join a number of KFELS B Class jackup rigs built by Keppel for Mexican customers. This includes the Primus jackup rig recently delivered to Oro Negro as well as the Tonala rig operated by Peforadora Central.

Mr Wong Kok Seng, Managing Director (Offshore) of Keppel O&M and Managing Director of Keppel FELS, said, "We thank PEMEX for selecting the proven KFELS B Class design as the basis of their new rigs. With 36 rigs delivered and 20 on order, the KFELS B Class design has been the rig of choice for drilling operators in meeting the higher specification needs of their customers. We look forward to delivering high quality rigs to PEMEX safely, on time and within budget.

"We are seeing more enquiries from Mexico for new rigs and we believe our KFELS B Class jackup design is well suited to meet the requirements of the Mexican market. Together with our Keppel AmFELS yard in Brownsville, Texas, we aim to boost our track record and establish ourselves as the foremost provider of drilling solutions in Mexico."

PEMEX is the world's fourth-largest crude producer at 2.5 million barrels per day. The Mexican national oil company has estimated that they will invest up to US$2.4billion in 2012 in exploration, and expect to have 40 rigs eventually operating in Mexican waters.

A senior official of PEMEX said, "The KFELS B Class jackup rig, such as the Tonala and Ocean Scepter which are operating successfully in Mexico, has proven to be an efficient and high specification rig. The two new rigs will be an important addition to our fleet and improve our exploration and production capabilities. We are confident that Keppel FELS will deliver the rigs according to the specifications required by PEMEX."

Developed by Keppel's technology arm, Offshore Technology Development, the KFELS B Class jackup design is able to operate in water depths of up to 400 feet and drill to depths of 30,000 feet.

The KFELS B Class rigs incorporate Keppel's advanced and fully-automated high capacity rack and pinion jacking system, and Self-Positioning Fixation System. It provides maximum uptime with reduced emissions and discharges. For its environmental-friendly features, the KFELS B Class design was bestowed the prestigious Engineering Achievement Award from the Institution of Engineers Singapore in 2009.

Keppel AmFELS, Keppel O&M's yard in Brownsville, Texas has previously delivered projects for PEMEX including accommodation platforms. The yard is currently undertaking the construction of two rigs for Mexico. The Papaloapan jackup, which was ordered by Perforadora Central in March 2011, is under construction and on track for delivery 1Q 2013 while the Coatzacoalcos jackup rig is slated for delivery in 1Q 2014.

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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