The contracts have been assigned to Saipem by various oil companies and encompass the charter of 32 onshore rigs of different power capacities, 13 of which are new-built units, for drilling activities in South America, mainly in Venezuela and Peru, and in Ukraine.

The contracts will have an average life of one year for the 19 existing units, and nearly five years for the 13 new-built units.

Drilling activities related to new contracts will commence at the expiry date of the current contracts for the existing rigs, which will be between the third quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009.

For the new-built units, activities will commence once the rigs are completed, which is expected to be between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. The estimated overall investment for the construction of the new units is approximately $300 million.