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23 Oct 2010

Keppel delivers North Sea-compliant dual-capability high-specification jack-up to Rowan

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered the first of three KFELS N-Class jack-up rigs being built for Rowan Companies, Inc. (Rowan) (NYSE: RDC) safely, on time and within budget.

Built to the proprietary KFELS N-Class design, this new-generation rig is the largest jack-up to be constructed in Singapore. This rig design is the brainchild of Keppel's R&D arm, Offshore Technology Development (OTD), following Keppel's extensive experience in constructing rigs for the North Sea region since 1985. The North Sea region is one of the world's toughest operating environments for offshore exploration and production.

The rig was named the Rowan Viking at Keppel FELS today by Lady Sponsor, Mrs. Karen Russell, spouse of Mr. David Russell, Rowan's Executive Vice President, Drilling Operations.

Mr. Matt Ralls, President & CEO of Rowan, said, "The high-specification KFELS N-Class rigs are among the most capable jack-ups in the world. These rigs will add to our market-leading position in large jack-ups with hook-load capacities of two million pounds or more, and will strengthen our ability to help our customers drill their most challenging wells.

"Importantly, these rigs will be certified to work in the demanding Norwegian sector of the North Sea, where we see solid demand for high-specification jack-ups. At the same time, we see multiple drilling opportunities in other global markets for this elite class of rig."

Towering at 568 feet (extendable to 598 feet) or about 56 storeys, the KFELS N-Class rig can operate in harsh weather conditions in water depths ranging from 400-500 feet, which are 40% deeper than traditional units in benign waters, and drilling depths of 35,000 feet, 15% deeper compared to existing harsh environment jack-ups. The design is in full compliance with the demanding and technical challenging requirements of rigs operating in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Mr. Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine, said, "The Rowan Viking is the result of the winning combination of Keppel OTD's rich design expertise, and Keppel FELS' strong engineering, construction and project management experience.

"Recovery of oil and natural gas in the North Sea's inhospitable climate and great depths requires advanced and cost-effective offshore technology. Combining state-of-the-art design and dual capabilities, the KFELS N-Class rigs are capable of performing efficient and safe drilling and production activities, even under the severe conditions of the Norwegian North Sea. They can drill in challenging environments anywhere in the world, making them exceptionally versatile and qualified for worldwide deployment. We are very pleased that Rowan has placed their confidence in the KFELS N-Class fleet."

The KFELS N-Class design also provides customers the flexibility of having a jack-up that can undertake drilling and production concurrently. This high-specification rig has features allowing drilling to take place at two positions 26 feet apart. This special design allows the jack-up to accept process modules for production activities while having concurrent drilling activities at the secondary cantilever position. The two cantilever drilling positions also provide an exceptionally wide drilling envelope.

Mr. Tong added, "We are heartened to deepen our successful partnership with Rowan and will strive to deliver the remaining four Rowan rigs being built at our global yards with Keppel's hallmark quality, on time, within budget and with no incidents."

Construction of the remaining two KFELS N-Class rigs, the Rowan Stavanger and the Rowan Norway, are on schedule with expected deliveries in 1Q and 2Q of 2011, respectively. In the US, Keppel AmFELS is currently constructing the remaining two of four Rowan EXL-Class jack-up rigs (Enhanced Super 116E), with expected deliveries in 1Q 2011 and 3Q 2012.


About Rowan
Rowan is a major provider of international and domestic contract drilling services with a focus on high-specification and premium jack-ups. The Company also owns and operates a manufacturing division that produces equipment for the drilling, mining and timber industries. The Company's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RDC. For more information on Rowan, please visit

About Keppel FELS
Keppel FELS is a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), a wholly-owned company of Keppel Corporation Limited. Keppel O&M is a leader in offshore rig design, repair and construction, ship repair and conversion and specialised shipbuilding. Its near market, near customer strategy is bolstered by a global network of 20 yards and offices in the Asia Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the Caspian Sea, Middle East and the North Sea regions. Integrating the experience and expertise of its yards worldwide, the group aims to be the provider of choice and partner for solutions for the offshore and marine industry.


For Rowan, please contact:

Suzanne M. McLeod
Director of Investor Relations
Rowan Companies, Inc.
Tel: +1 713-960-7517

For Keppel FELS, please contact

Diana Chan
Senior Executive
Keppel Group Corporate Communications
Tel: +65 64136 430



Download - Speech by Mr Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine

Download - Speech Pointers by Mr Michael J. Dowdy, VP Engineering of Rowan Companies, Inc.