Gulf Drilling International (GDI) has awarded a Singapore-based Keppel a $393m contract to build two jackup rigs.

Qatar-based GDI aims to expand its share in the country’s offshore drilling market. The purchase increases its jackup rig fleet to seven units.

“[The rigs] will serve as the cornerstone of an expansion plan that is geared to increasing GDI’s share of the Qatar drilling market,” said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, GDI chairman, in a statement.

The rigs are GDI’s first order in six years. They are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Keppel has in the past delivered the KFELS B Class jackup rigs Al-Khor and Al-Zubarah.

GDI is a joint venture between publicly-listed Gulf International Services (GIS) and Japan Drilling Company, which holds a minority 30 per cent stake.