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Keppel to build semisubmersible for Azerbaijan

10th June 2013

Keppel O&M to build semisubmersible worth about USD 800m for Azerbaijan’s SOCAR

Keppel to build semisubmersible for Azerbaijan
The rig will be customised for the Caspian Sea's harsh environment condition

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd has secured a contract from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) to build a semisubmersible drilling rig worth approximately USD800m. The move comes hot on the heels of SOCAR’s expansion of its offshore drilling programme.

Keppel's yard in Azerbaijan, CSC, will carry out the fabrication, integration, testing and commissioning of the rig while its joint-venture yard with SOCAR, Baku Shipyard LLC, will undertake part of the fabrication of the pontoons and columns. Keppel FELS will provide engineering, procurement and technical support. 

Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel O&M said: "This is an important market with great potential which is why we have added another yard, Baku Shipyard, to our capabilities here.

The president of SOCAR, Rovnag Abdullayev said: "We are keen to expand our offshore drilling programme to drill wells such as the Babak and Absheron fields in addition to the Shah Deniz field."

Scheduled for delivery in 4Q 2016, the rig will be built to Keppel FELS' proprietary DSS 38M design, which has been customised for the Caspian Sea's harsh environment condition. The DSS 38M is an enhanced design of Keppel’s DSS 38 rigs operating in Brazil.

The DSS 38M is designed for a drilling depth of up to 40,000ft and operations in 1000m water depth. It has been outfitted to include an 800m self-contained eight point mooring system designed to meet high wind speeds in the harsh Caspian environment. The pontoons have been designed for the rig to transit in channels with shallow draft of less than seven metres.

The Caspian Sea holds a tremendous amount of untapped oil and gas reserves and Azerbaijan is the largest offshore producer in the region of both oil and gas. SOCAR stated recently that it intends to build more rigs in the near future.