Chouest Continues Aggressive Newbuild Program

Monday, October 11, 2004

Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) plans to continue its newbuilding program. Having already designed, built, owned and operated almost 70 new generation offshore vessels servicing the deepwater oil and gas industry over the past decade, the company plans for 11 new vessels, with options for an additional 14. Construction highlights feature three additional 280-ft. deepwater supply vessels, with an option for 10; four 160-ft. fast supply vessels, with an option for another four; three Norwegian-designed and built platform supply vessels; and a 348-ft. survey support ship. The supply vessels and survey support ship are being constructed at ECO's shipbuilding facilities in Larose and Houma, La.; the fast supply vessels are designed and built at Breaux Brothers Enterprises in Loreauville, La.

The reasons for the aggressive program are simple, according to ECO President Gary Chouest. "We are continuing to honor our commitment to build the types of vessels our customers are requesting.” ECO's shipyards have already delivered the first four in the series of 280-ft. deepwater supply vessels, all currently working in the GOM. The fifth in the series, the Kobe Chouest, was to be delievered last month. Three additional vessels in the series have been committed to by Chouest, the first to be delivered in March 2005 and the others by year's end. The 280-ft. series features a deadweight tonnage of 4,962 LT, as well as dedicated below deck tankage for 15,644 barrels of liquid mud and 1,826 barrels of methanol. The 160-ft. fast supply vessels will join a fleet of 11 others currently operating for ECO domestically and internationally. The scheduled delivery dates for the four newbuilds are in March, July, September and December 2005.

The three Norwegian platform supply vessels will join a recently delivered subsea support vessel operating for Island Offshore Shipholding LP, a joint venture between ECO and a prominent Norwegian partner. The Island Frontier, built in Norway by the Soviknes Verft AS on a Rolls Royce UT 737-L design, measures 348 x 78 x 28-ft.

The Island Frontier is capable of handling subsea installation and module operations, ROV operations, well intervention services, diving support, trenching, offshore pipe and cable laying, as well as transportation and loading of pipes, equipment and cargo.

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