Torch Offshore reports that the Midnight Express has completed its sea trials in the North Atlantic Ocean and left the shipyard at Davie Maritime, Inc. on Saturday, June 5, 2004. The vessel is expected to arrive at the Huisman Itrec yard in Europe on June 20, 2004. Partial installation of the pipelay system and crane is expected to take 30 to 40 days, after which the vessel will transit to the Gulf of Mexico. The Company still plans to complete final outfitting and installation of the pipe handling system, as well as commissioning and testing, in the Gulf of Mexico before the vessel enters the active fleet in the latter portion of the third quarter of 2004.
Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased that the vessel has left the shipyard for Europe. Our timing is on track for the vessel to begin work in late 2004."