Keppel to build semisubmersibles for Black Sea operations

Offshore staff

SINGAPORE – Ukraine’s Naftogaz has awarded Keppel FELS a $1.2-billion contract for two new semisubmersible drilling rigs for use in the Black Sea.

The rigs will be based on Keppel FELS’ proprietary DSS 38U design customized for the harsh Black Sea environment, a region prone to sub-zero temperatures and storms with strong winds and heavy seas.

The hulls and pontoon sections will incorporate durable, high-thickness steel. Winterization will include machinery cladding, advanced heating systems to prevent equipment and pipe freezing, and air conditioning for the living quarters.

Both rigs will have a 2,000 kips drilling derrick rated for drilling to 30,000 ft (9,144 m). They also will be equipped with a separate BOP and christmas tree, and a compact pipe handling system designed for offline stand building.

Evgen Bakulin, chairman of Naftogaz, said: “The addition of these rigs to our fleet is part of our extensive program to modernize our offshore exploration and production facilities. This will allow us to reach a new level of shelf development in the Black and Azov seas, rapidly boost our oil and gas production, and reduce our imports of natural gas.”


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