ConocoPhillips expects to increase its Arctic footprint thanks to a partnership with Singapore's Keppel Offshore and Marine.

By the end of 2013, both companies plan to have an Arctic bound-and-ready jackup rig designed to sustain muti-year ice floes and can be towed through ice.

We are glad to partner with ConocoPhillips to jointly design this ice-worthy jackup rig for the Arctic Seas, said Foo Kok Seng, Center Director, KOMtech, a Keppel division, said. The features of this jackup rig make it a cost-effective and promising drilling solution for the Arctic Offshore. In leveraging the combined expertise, resources and research findings of Keppel O&M and ConocoPhillips, we believe that this joint project will achieve significant breakthroughs in offshore Arctic drilling.

The announcement comes several months since Houston-based ConocoPhillips last announced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had approved a plan for the company to expand operations in Alaska. In December, ConocoPhillips announced it was granted a permit to expand its drilling operations in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve.

ConocoPhillips didn't respond to an interview request. Its shares rose 44 cents to $72.46 in late trading Wednesday.