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KEPPEL Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) said a repeat client, Gulf Drilling International (GDI), has renewed options for two more rigs after taking delivery of the fifth in a series of jack-up drilling units from Keppel Fels.
The options are for two more repeat KFels B Class rigs for deliveries in 2018 and 2019, Keppel O&M said without commenting on their new expiry dates.
The options were renewed along with the Jan 21 delivery of the fifth KFels B Class jack-up, Halul, to GDI, Keppel O&M said. Three earlier rigs built to the same design have been operating successfully off Qatar: Dukhan and Al Zubarah under a contract with Qatar Petroleum, and Al Khor with Shell.
Wong Kok Seng, managing director of Keppel O&M (Offshore) and Keppel Fels, said: "While there is widespread industry cautiousness, the strong relationships we have built with our long-standing customers, such as GDI, enables us to work together to deliver projects in a win-win fashion."
"Reliability, safety, efficiency and quality are our top priorities in choosing a rig and a shipyard. Keppel Fels and the KFels B Class design have demonstrated their strengths in these areas repeatedly," said Mubarak A Al-Hajri, chief executive officer and managing director of GDI. "That is why we have chosen to renew our options for two more rigs with them."
Besides the newbuild rigs, Nakilat-Keppel O&M, Keppel's joint-venture shipyard in Qatar, recently completed a self-propelled and self-elevating liftboat for GDI.
Qatar, as with other Opec (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) nations in the Middle East, is widely considered as among remaining pockets of demand for O&M services.
Executives said at the full-year results briefing last week that Keppel O&M is bracing itself for an extended long winter as persistently low oil prices have destroyed, along with the balance sheets of oil and gas companies, demand for offshore drilling services and newbuild rigs.
The jack-up, Halul, should be the fifth and not third of the KFELS B Class rig delivered to GDI. The article has been amended to reflect this.