Mariner Energy Discusses Hornbeck-LEEVAC Announcement

Thursday, December 20, 2001
Mariner Energy, Inc. announced that consistent with the scheduled completion of its 2001 drilling program, it released the Noble Homer Ferrington semi-submersible rig and two offshore supply vessels owned by Hornbeck-LEEVAC Marine Services. Mariner has been pleased with the performance of Noble's semi-submersible to date and expects to continue utilization of the rig in its 2002 drilling program. Under the terms of Mariner's drilling contract with Noble, the term of Mariner's commitment to use the Homer Ferrington is not a single continuous period but, rather, occurs intermittently and is subject to the usage rights retained by Noble and those owned by others during their applicable "drilling slots". Mariner's release of the rig and the Hornbeck-LLEVAC vessels occurred at the scheduled end of Mariner's 2001 drilling program and in compliance with the applicable agreements. Mariner management believes that the breach of contract claims described by Hornbeck-LEEVAC in its recent announcement are without merit.

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