06 Sep 2008

Jurong Shipyard’s Landmark Deepwater Semi-submersible WEST TAURUS Gears Up for Drilling Offshore Brazil

Singapore, September 6, 2008: WEST TAURUS, the second of a series of four ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rigs built by Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiary Jurong Shipyard for Norway’s leading energy group Seadrill Limited, is gearing up for drilling works offshore Brazil following its turnkey construction completion.

Officially named by Mrs Goril Diesen, wife of Mr Stein Diesen from Seadrill Limited on September 6, 2008, WEST TAURUS is the second unit of the yard’s series of 10 high-performance 6th generation ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rigs on order since 2005, following the successful delivery of the first unit WEST SIRIUS in March 2008. The third and fourth rig units are currently under construction in the yard with deliveries scheduled in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The successful construction of WEST TAURUS marks another landmark achievement for Jurong Shipyard being the first semi-submersible rig to be built using the yard’s proprietary “Transverse Skidding” methodology in combination with the “Load-out and Mating-in-Dock” technique. These breakthrough techniques increase and optimize the shipyard’s capacity to meet the urgent demands of a very robust market, enabling it to deliver more than 2 semi-submersible rigs in a year while meeting high standards of quality, safety and reliability.

Built to Friede & Goldman’s Ex-D Millennium Class design, WEST TAURUS is a highly sophisticated 6th generation semi-submersible rig engineered for deep drilling capabilities of up to 37,500 feet in dynamic positioning mode in ultra-deepwaters of up to 10,000 feet. Designed with an operational displacement of 43,400 metric tons at 17 metres draft and 46,750 metric tons at 20 metres draft, it has 18,000 square feet of usable deck space, and is able to carry a variable deck load of up to 8,000 tons (see attachment for more technical details).

Shortly after its naming, WEST TAURUS will undergo installation and commissioning of thrusters at anchorage followed by sea trial to prepare for drilling once it reaches field location offshore Brazil.

Scheduled for delivery in November 2008, WEST TAURUS will be deployed for development drilling operations under a six-year charter with Petrobras. In addition, Petrobras has awarded similar charter contracts to three other semi-submersible rigs under construction in Jurong Shipyard, including Seadrill’s third rig unit. The first rig unit WEST SIRIUS, which is now operating in the Gulf of Mexico, had its contract extended by Devon Energy from four to six years.

Mr Alf C. Thorkildsen, CEO and President of Seadrill Limited said: “We are delighted with the on-time completion of West Taurus and more importantly she is ready to drill on location. This again proves Jurong Shipyard’s ability to deliver above our expectations following the successful handover of West Sirius in March earlier this year.“

“We commend the Jurong Shipyard team for their professionalism, dedication and commitment in achieving this remarkable milestone. West Taurus will be an invaluable addition to our existing rig fleet and we are confident the yard will continue to deliver excellent results on the other two rigs we have entrusted them.”

Mr Wong Weng Sun, Managing Director of Jurong Shipyard said: “WEST TAURUS marks another key milestone for Jurong Shipyard and is a hallmark of our innovative turnkey rig building capabilities and proven track record in fast-track semi-submersible construction. The success of WEST TAURUS mirrors the successful delivery of WEST SIRIUS in 2008 and signals the strong synergy and close partnership between Jurong Shipyard, Seadrill, and our project partners, vendors and contractors

About Seadrill Limited

Seadrill is a Bermuda-based international offshore drilling contractor with main offices in Norway, Houston, Singapore and the UK. Together with partners, the company has 43 drilling units, out of which 15 are under construction. Seadrill’s versatile fleet includes harsh-environment semi-submersibles, jack-ups, shallow and deep water tender rigs and deepwater drillships . In addition, Seadrill provides platform drilling, well intervention and engineering services.

About Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd

Jurong Shipyard, a fully-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine, is a leading shipyard offering integrated services and customised solutions in ship repair, shipbuilding, ship conversion, rig building and offshore engineering to a worldwide clientele. Apart from its proven track record in the building and servicing of jack-up and semi-submersible rigs, Jurong Shipyard is also a global leader in the EPC conversion of tankers to floating, production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs), floating storage tankers (FSOs ) and floating production units (FPU).

In addition to WEST TAURUS, Jurong Shipyard’s rig-building orderbook includes 8 units of 6th generation ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rigs, 2 units of BMC Pacific 375 deep drilling jack-up rig, and 1 unit of CJ70 design harsh-environment deep drilling jack-up rig. The yard is also building up two baredeck hulls to semi-submersibles, as well as constructing a heavy-lift jack-up barge.

For the PDF version of this news release, please click here.