ConocoPhillips Wants Arctic-Bound Offshore Rig Designed by 2013

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The sun sets over Arctic ice
The sun sets over Arctic ice near the 2011 Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in this March 18, 2011 picture. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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.

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