Dubai's Drydocks World signs $730m rig contract

Development will be largest rig ever built for North Sea

Picture for illustrative purposes only.
Picture for illustrative purposes only.

Dubai-based Drydocks World has been commissioned to construct the largest rig ever built for the North Sea in a deal worth $730m.

The order, from a company called Drill One Capital - whose backers include GustoMSC, spun off in 2012 by SBM Offshore, and Petrolia - was part of a package of contracts which could be worth a total of $1.4bn to Drydocks by the third quarter, its chairman, Khamis Juma Buamim, told a press conference.

The rig - a "jack-up" or self-elevating structure known as CJ-80 - will be the largest ever to be built for the North Sea, with completion set for 2017, Buamim said.

Drydocks said it was designed to be operated in harsh environments, including the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, but gave no further detail on its likely deployment.

Drydocks agreed a restructuring plan worth $2.2bn in 2012 having got into difficulty after taking on debt to fund its expansion into southeast Asia.

The firm would continue to meet all repayments this year according to a plan agreed with creditors, Buamim said, although he ruled out the kind of early repayment which Nakheel, another Dubai state-linked entity which required a restructuring, has promised on its liabilities.

"We have a five-year plan and according to this plan and these dates, we are complying with that fully," Buamim said. "Our business, Nakheel's business and other businesses are all different and we work based on our business portfolio."

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