FGH, Ocean Rig End Dispute

Monday, March 12, 2001
Norway's Ocean Rig and Friede Goldman Halter signed an agreement, ending a legal dispute over the building of two drilling rigs that was halted earlier this month.

"Work on the rigs, which was suspended briefly by Friede Goldman, causing Ocean Rig to commence arbitration and other legal proceedings against Friede Goldman, resumed in full this morning," it said in a statement to the Oslo Stock Exchange.

"Both companies believe that this latest agreement ... reflects the strong interest of both companies in allocating resources as effectively as possible to complete the remaining work on the rigs," it said.

Fride Goldman, based in Gulfport, Miss., halted work on the outfitting of two semi-submersible drilling rigs for Ocean Rig, saying it had previously warned that it did not intend to complete the rigs without a new agreement between the parties.

Ocean Rig subsequently began arbitration proceedings against it in London for the two Bingo 9000 rigs at Goldman's Pascagoula yard in Mississippi.

Under the agreement Ocean Rig will pay Goldman a contractually established rate for equipment, personnel and labour provided by Friede Goldman to cover the costs of completing the project, rather than a predetermined lump sum, it said.

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