Torches' Midnight Rider at 100% Utilization

Thursday, April 11, 2002
Torch Offshore, Inc. said that the Midnight Rider has had nearly 100% utilization since it began its first project on December 7, 2001. The Midnight Rider, a pipelay/bury barge, was purchased in June 2001 to expand the company's capabilities on the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Shelf, both in water depth and pipeline diameter. The barge immediately entered drydock to return it to class and to make minor modifications to improve its capabilities, all completed on time and on budget. Since its introduction to the GOM Shelf, the Midnight Rider has completed 10 projects, laying and burying 196,555 ft. of pipeline. The vessel worked for a total of 102 days before returning to the dock in mid-March 2002 to make improvements on its jetting system for future projects scheduled to begin in May. During that same time period, Torch Offshore's other pipelay barges were able to maintain steady utilization as well, particularly the Midnight Brave and the Midnight Runner. Torch Offshore Chairman and CEO, Lyle Stockstill, said, "Torch Offshore purchased the Midnight Rider to expand our capabilities in our niche market, and the performance of this vessel along with our other pipelay barges has reinforced this decision. The Midnight Rider also allows the Company to work in deeper waters and with larger diameter pipelines than was previously possible. Overall, Torch Offshore is very pleased with this acquisition and its performance." Torch Offshore, Inc. currently operates a fleet of nine vessels engaged in offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction for the oil and gas industry.

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