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S.E. Asian builders capitalise on offshore promise

S.E. Asian builders capitalise on offshore promise

Singapore: Radically higher crude oil prices have caused a rush to buy new high-spec offshore oil equipment that has left leading offshore yards in Asia with significant backlogs. Now there are concerns that yard capacity could become constrained by a regional shortage of steel workers.

Leading yards in Singapore have a string of FPSO conversions as well as a bunch of new rig orders. Only today, SembCorp Marine has announced a US$500m contract to build a semi submersibale drilling rig for Noble Drilling Holding. Such is the demand for offshore plant that projects are being undertaken at facilities elsewhere. Labroy Marine Limited, for example, is building an ABS-classed deepwater rig for Standard Drilling ASA at its Indonesian facility in Batam. The independent cantilever unit, due for delivery in September 2008, is designed for operation in water depths of up to 350 feet.

Meanwhile, new jackup rigs - of which more than 60 will join the fleet by the end of 2009 - are increasingly designed for operation in deeper water as the quest for new oil supplies moves further offshore. Last week Keppel FELS won a US$371m contract to build the first KFELS N Class jackup, able to drill with water depths up to 400 feet, from Skeie Group's ProdJack AS for use in the North Sea, which will be the largest jackup rig to be built in Singapore. [11/12/06]