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October 06, 2011 at 10:55 AM EDT
Ensco plc Exercises Option and Orders Third Ultra-Premium Harsh Environment Jackup Rig

Ensco plc (NYSE: ESV) announced today that it has ordered a new ultra-premium harsh environment jackup rig to be built under a fixed-price shipyard construction contract with Keppel FELS Limited (“KFELS”) in Singapore. Including commissioning, systems integration testing and project management, the construction cost is expected to be approximately $260 million. The shipyard construction price for the rig is approximately $245 million. Ensco negotiated attractive payment terms with 20% due at contract signing and 80% payable upon delivery. The delivery is scheduled for third quarter 2014 and the rig will have the same design as the initial two rigs ordered earlier this year that are scheduled for delivery in 2013.

Senior Vice President John Knowlton stated, "We look forward to delivering three new ultra-premium jackups that will set a new standard in harsh environment drilling and further high-grade our premium jackup fleet. Customers have expressed significant interest in the new rig design that offers unique capabilities and high levels of efficiency.

“We expect to realize significant benefits from the uniform design and standardization of these jackups as we have with the ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra-deepwater semisubmersibles. This strategy dramatically streamlines the construction process and provides sizeable economies of scale for daily operations, inventory management and training. Ensco and KFELS have a longstanding relationship and our capital projects team in Singapore will manage the construction of these newbuild jackups along with our two remaining ENSCO 8500 Series® rigs.”

All three of the newbuild jackup rigs are enhanced versions of the KFELS Super A design capable of operating in water depths up to 400′ in harsh environment regions such as the Central North Sea. With high-temperature, high-pressure equipment, a state-of-the-art cantilever envelope, 2.5 million pound quad derrick, automated hands-free offline pipe handling systems, ultra-high capacity jacking and fixation systems, 150 person quarters and strict noise and ergonomic standards, these rigs feature equipment and capabilities previously found only in the largest ultra-harsh environment jackups. The versatility of the rigs offers unprecedented value through increased drilling efficiencies for the most demanding multi-well platform programs, ultra-deep gas programs and ultra-long reach wells up to 40,000′ total drilling depth in oil and gas basins throughout the world.

Including the new ultra-premium harsh environment jackup rig announced today, Ensco has seven newbuild rigs under construction: two drillships, two ultra-deepwater semisubmersibles and three ultra-premium harsh environment jackups. Ensco expects these rigs will be delivered on time and on budget, and will generate significant organic revenue growth. Ensco will continue to explore opportunities to further high-grade its fleet through future investments in new equipment.

An option for an additional ultra-premium jackup rig has expired and will not be exercised. Separately, an option for an additional drillship has been extended with Samsung to fourth quarter 2011.

Ensco uses its website to disclose material and non-material information to investors, customers, employees and others interested in Ensco. To receive regular updates on Ensco news or SEC filings, please sign-up for E-mail Alerts on the website.

Ensco plc (NYSE: ESV) brings energy to the world as a global provider of offshore drilling services to the petroleum industry. We have the world’s second largest offshore drilling fleet comprised of dynamically-positioned drillships and semisubmersibles, moored semisubmersibles and premium jackups. Ensco is ranked #1 for overall customer satisfaction in the leading independent survey conducted by EnergyPoint Research with #1 ratings in 14 of 16 separate categories. To learn more about Ensco, please visit our website at www.enscoplc.com. Ensco plc is an English limited company (England No. 7023598) with its registered office and corporate headquarters located at 6 Chesterfield Gardens, London W1J 5BQ.

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include words or phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “should,” “will” and similar words and specifically include statements regarding the timing of delivery of rigs. Such statements are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to vary materially from those indicated, risks inherent to shipyard rig construction. In addition to the factors described above, you should also carefully read and consider “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in Part I and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II of our most recent annual report on Form 10-K, as updated in our subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or on the Investor Relations section of our website at www.enscoplc.com.Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, except as required by law.

Contacts:

Ensco plc
Sean O’Neill, 713-430-4607
Vice President
Investor Relations and Communications
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