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January 19, 2010

Keppel FELS delivers first rig of 2010

Singapore's Keppel FELS Limited has delivered ENSCO 8502, the third of seven ENSCO 8500 Series semisubmersible (semi) drilling rigs it has been contracted to build exclusively for Ensco International (NYSE:ESV).

Delivered seven days ahead of schedule, ENSCO 8502 is on track to commence operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the second quarter of 2010, under a two-year contract with Nexen Petroleum U.S.A. Inc. with term extension options.

The early completion was a culmination of progressive productivity gains achieved by Keppel FELS on the construction of the series.

Construction lead time for ENSCO 8502 was reduced by 1.1 million manhours, as compared to the first rig in the Series. This represents a 15% boost in efficiency.

Mr. Dan Rabun, Chairman, President & CEO of Ensco International, said, "With each consecutive rig, we have seen continuous improvement in the construction progress, reaffirming our decision to build the entire seven-rig series with a single yard to realize efficiencies and economies of scale."

The proprietary ENSCO 8500 Series design is capable of drilling in up to 8,500 feet of water, and can be upgraded to 10,000 feet water-depth capability if required. The design includes a 35,000 ft nominal rated drilling depth, 2 million pounds of hoisting capacity, 8,000 tons of variable deck load and an open layout well suited for subsea completion activities. Improved visibility from the open deck configuration also enhances safety. With these features, the ENSCO 8500 Series rigs will be especially well-suited for deepwater development drilling.


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