• Diamond Offshore Drilling Limited, completed the previously announced acquisition of the third-generation semisubmersible drilling rig Omega. The rig, purchased for $65 million, has been renamed Ocean Patriot. Diamond Offshore has a fleet of 47 offshore drilling rigs currently consists of 32 semisubmersibles, 14 jack-ups and one drillship.
• Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. received a letter of intent from Murphy Sabah Oil Company Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR)
, to operate the semisubmersible Ocean Rover offshore Malaysia for approximately 120 days following completion of its upgrade. Ocean Rover is expected to commence operations in Malaysia following delivery from the shipyard. The drilling program consists of three wells with a minimum expected duration of 120 days during which time the rig is expected to generate revenues, depending upon water depth, of approximately $13.4 million to $14.9 million. The Ocean Rover is undergoing an upgrade to fifth-generation capabilities, including the ability for self-contained mooring operations in up to 7,000 ft. of water.
• Diamond Offshore also announced that it has entered into a drilling contract with Unocal Indonesia Company for the semisubmersible Ocean Baroness offshore Indonesia. Subject to final Indonesian government approvals, the Ocean Baroness is scheduled to commence operations under this contract upon completion of shipyard modifications. These modifications are designed to permit surface stack operations and are currently taking place in a Singapore shipyard. The estimated term of the drilling program is 400 days and is expected to generate revenues of approximately $44 million. The Ocean Baroness is a fifth-generation semisubmersible drilling rig, and one of the Company's signature Victory-class upgrades, designed for self-contained mooring operations in up to 7,000 feet of water.
• ENSCO International completed the sale of its 27-vessel Gulf of Mexico fleet to Tidewater Inc. (TDW)
ENSCO, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, provides contract drilling services to the international petroleum industry.
• ENSCO International also announced that one of its principal subsidiaries has agreed upon terms for a joint venture with Keppel FELS Limited to acquire, for $26.25 million in cash and project management services, a 25% ownership interest in a new high performance premium jackup rig to be constructed by Keppel FELS in Singapore, and expects to execute and deliver definitive agreements shortly. The rig, to be named the ENSCO 106, will be an enhanced KFELS MOD V (B) design, modified to ENSCO specifications, capable of addressing more demanding applications on a global basis. The enhanced design will be designated as the "BIGFOOT".
The total agreed cost of the rig will be approximately $105 million. In addition to its initial 25% ownership, ENSCO will have an option to purchase the remaining 75% interest in the rig prior to delivery and for two years after delivery. The option price will be based on the agreed cost until rig delivery, and thereafter will be subject to modest escalation during the two- year option period.
• Trico Marine Services, Inc. announced a net loss for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2002 of $14.4 million, after an extraordinary item, on revenues of $35.2 million. This compares to a net loss of $884,000 on revenues of $41.7 million for the fourth quarter last year. The non-cash charge of $5.2 million is due to the write-down of the book value of two vessels. The company stated these vessels are special-purpose towing vessels, with limited capabilities as conventional supply vessels. The write down was in response to market conditions for these vessels. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002, the company reported a net loss of $68 million, after extraordinary items, on revenues of $133.9 million. The loss for 2002 includes non-cash charges totaling $27.9 million, and extraordinary items of $11.0 million.
• Farstad Shipping ASA, through its wholly owned subsidiary Farstad Supply AS, had been awarded a five year charter contract by Peterson Supplylink B.V. Peterson is a provider for seven Dutch operators. The contract, starting between January 1 and March 31, 2004, demanded building of a new platform supply vessel (PSV). It has since been decided that the vessel will be built at Ulstein Verft AS for delivery on December 22, 2003. Measuring 243 ft. (74 m) with a beam of 52 ft. (16 m), the vessel is a newly developed Ulstein-design, P 106, which will have diesel-electric propulsion system.
• C. Christopher Gaut, senior VP and CFO will resign his position at ENSCO, effective the end of February, to join Halliburton Company (HAL)
as executive V.P. and CFO. Gaut has been with ENSCO for more than 15 years - serving as CFO since 1988. His responsibilities will be reassigned to officers within ENSCO until a permanent successor is announced.