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Marine Log

May 16, 2006

ABS classes UAE-built jackups

ABS has been awarded the contracts for the first jackup drilling rigs to be built in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A total of four units will be built to ABS standards: two units for Thule Drilling ASA and two units for Mosvold Drilling Ltd.

The Thule rigs (Thule Energy and Thule Force) will be built at QMG Group LLC rig construction yard in Dubai based upon the Friede & Goldman (F&G) Super M2 rig design. The Mosvold rigs will also be F&G Super M2 designs and will be built at Maritime Industrial Services Co. Ltd. Inc. (MIS) in Sharjah.

According to ABS' Country Manager for the UAE Joe Brincat, the rig designs are well-suited for Middle East operations. "The rigs will be designated as +A1 Self Elevating Drilling Units and are suitable for operating in all non-harsh environments of the world with water depth capacity of 300 feet and drill down capacity to 30,000 feet."

The Super M2 design is an updated version of F&G's L 780 Mod II jackup rig of which more than 30 are operating worldwide. Brincat says the Super M2 design features an enhanced leg design with extended reach cantilever, wrap around quarters and modular hull design. The specialized leg fixation system and overall platform construction will be built to ABS Rules and under the supervision of the class society's engineers and surveyors.

ABS notes thatndustry analysts report the Middle East is the fastest growing jack up market in the world. With rig utilization rates at an all time high, the jack up market is exceptionally strong. With commodity prices likely to remain high drilling activity continues to increase. With yards in China, Singapore and the U.S. Gulf Coast nearing capacity, new yards such as UAE's QMG and MIS have seen an opportunity.

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