The time charter for the Midnight Hunter is at a set day rate and extends through September 2, 2005, with provisions for extension or outright purchase. The vessel was previously under charter by the Company, but the Company cancelled the charter in January 2003 because the vessel did not meet certain specifications as outlined in the charter agreement which prevented the Company from performing some types of work, particularly deepwater pipelay. However, the Company has re-chartered the vessel at a lesser day rate and has altered its intentions for use of the vessel. The Company intends to utilize the DP-2 vessel in a diving support capacity, which will allow it to perform deepwater tie-ins with the Company's 1,000-foot saturation system that has been installed on the vessel.
Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We welcome the Midnight Hunter back into our fleet. The vessel is very capable for the role of a diving support vessel in our fleet. With our saturation system onboard the vessel, we feel there is quite a bit of work it is capable of performing in various water depths ranging from the shallow water of the Continental Shelf to the deepwater regions of the world."
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