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Keppel and Seafox work together to develop robust jack-up rig

29th April 2014

The accommodation jack-up rig with plug and abandonment features will be based on Keppel’s KFELS J Class design suited for harsh environment.

Keppel and Seafox work together to develop robust jack-up rig
The project, which is named Seafox 8, is being developed to address a gap in the current plug and abandonment market

Keppel FELS, a Singapore-based wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, has signed an engineering services agreement with Dutch company Workfox, a subsidiary of the Seafox Group, to embark on an engineering study of a purpose-built accommodation jackup rig with well intervention and plug and abandonment features.

The project, which is named Seafox 8, is being developed to address a gap in the current plug and abandonment market. Subsea fields are reaching the end of their productive lives in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico. With increasing environmental concerns and regulations, there are a substantial number of wells in these regions that will need to be properly sealed up in the next few years.

Seafox 8 will be able to offer plug and abandonment services, well intervention services, as well as accommodation and crane support services. It has a spacious deck and comprehensive amenities for the comfort of 282 persons on board. The jack-up can also be configured for other offshore support services. Compared to existing jack-ups chartered for plug and abandonment work, Seafox 8 is expected to be 25-30 per cent more economical in terms of day rates. It will be the first accommodation and service jack-up unit that is specifically suited to support rigless activities for plug and abandonment well services at a competitive cost.

Leveraging the successful partnership of an earlier projec, Keppel is also in discussion with Seafox to enter into a joint venture to place an order for Seafox 8 upon completion of the study, which is expected in 2014.

Keesjan Cordia, CEO of Seafox, said: "With our background in providing accommodation support, workover, construction, and decommissioning services to the offshore oil and gas industry, we noticed the strong demand for plug and abandonment services and identified a need for a specialised rig in this market. We believe the jack-up we are conceiving, Seafox 8, offers the ideal solution as it can work all year round including during the North Sea's winter period and undertake multiple services at a time. It is a real workhorse and unlike drilling rigs which are often used to do plug and abandonment currently, Seafox 8 has the crane capacity to assist with maintenance and well services activities. It has NORSOK-specified accommodation for crew and client personnel, and a lower operating cost than existing equipment with a single role purpose.

"We are glad to continue this winning partnership we have with Keppel in coming up with innovative products. Seafox 5, a multi-purpose self-elevating platform (MPSEP), which they built for us previously, has been performing extremely well and I am confident that Seafox 8 will be just as successful."

The hull and legs of the new generation jack-up rig will be based on Keppel's new KFELS J Class design which is customised to operate in water depths of up to 112 metres in the harsh offshore environmental conditions of the Norwegian North Sea.

Developed by Offshore Technology Development (OTD), Keppel's research and development arm, the robust KFELS J Class is designed as a drilling jack-up rig is an enhancement of Keppel's proven harsh environment drilling rigs - the KFELS N Class and KFELS G Class designs.

Wong Kok Seng, managing director of Keppel O&M and Keppel FELS said: "We have successfully developed and commercialised many proprietary concepts for a variety of offshore services and challenging frontiers by partnering our trendsetting customers in the early stages of those projects. For Seafox 8, we are taking the hull of an ultra-harsh environment rig in our KFELS J Class for use as an accommodation rig with equipment for P&A services.

"This is an example of how we have been able to leverage and apply our technology expertise innovatively for a variety of offshore applications. And with an experienced partner like Seafox in this market, we are confident Seafox 8 will be well-received and give us a good head start in growing our track record as the leading solutions provider for the P&A services sector."

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