Keppel Offshore & Marine in Singapore has received a $304m contract to upgrade and repair two of Noble’s Brazil-based drillships.

The work includes the repair and replacement of components including the stern section, fabrication, accommodation blocks, sponsons and heliport.

The company plans to start work on Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason at its BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis by early 2011.

Keppel says it expects to complete the work within one year with deliveries scheduled for the last quarter of 2011 and first half of 2012.

Once complete both the ships will be deployed offshore Brazil to meet the requirements of Petrobras.

According to Keppel, it is also in talks with Noble to upgrade a third Brazil-based drillship operated and majority-owned by its US outfit.