Due to the evacuations caused by these hurricanes, the vessel is now scheduled to complete all conversion procedures in mid-October 2004 before commencing sea trials for the pipelay system. The sea trials will take place in the Gulf of Mexico and are expected to last approximately one week. This projected timing should put the vessel into the Company's active fleet towards the end of October 2004.
Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are very aware of the dangers of keeping a vessel in port during a major storm, so we took no chances with the Midnight Express during the recent weather. As for the conversion, we are in the final stages with only minimal tasks remaining before completion, at which point sea trials will commence."
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