Torch Offshore is beginning contract negotiations with Mariner Energy for the first pipelay project for the Midnight Express which is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2004 following the vessel conversion completion. Although the specifics of the project have yet to be finalized, the work will take place in the Gulf of Mexico in water depths ranging up to 4,000 feet and will entail several of the challenging intricacies of deepwater pipelay, including pipe-in-pipe and a midline termination skid installation, the type of work the Midnight Express was designed and targeted to complete. We will provide further details at a later time once they are finalized.
Stockstill added, "As with the Midnight Wrangler and Midnight Hunter, the Midnight Express has found a welcome market upon its introduction to our active fleet. We are quite excited about the opportunity to utilize the Midnight Express on this project for Mariner Energy and we thank them for the opportunity. The Midnight Express is a dynamic vessel that has the ability to revitalize our Company - and this work for Mariner Energy is only the first step for this vessel and our future in the deep waters of the world."