Atwood Oceanics reports that the ATWOOD FALCON has been awarded a contract by Japan Energy Development Co., LTD. to drill one (1) firm well with an option to drill one (1) additional well off the coast of Japan. The contract provides for a dayrate of $88,300 for both the firm and option wells and mobilization and demobilization payments of approximately $1.9 million, respectively. The ATWOOD FALCON is currently drilling a program for Sarawak Shell in Malaysia which is expected to be complete in February 2005. Upon completion of this contract, the rig will be moved to Japan, with an anticipated commencement of drilling operations in Japan in March 2005. The drilling of the firm well as well as the option well, if drilled, are estimated to take 60 to 100 days, respectively, to complete.
The Company also announced that the ATWOOD EAGLE has been awarded additional work under an existing contract with Woodside Energy, Ltd. ("Woodside") to drill three (3) firm wells with options to drill three (3) additional wells off the coast of Australia. The amended contract provides for a dayrate of $89,000 for wells drilled in water depths below 600 meters and $109,000 for wells drilled in water depths of 600 meters or more except that the first well drilled in water depths between 600 meters and 700 meters will have a dayrate of $99,000. The drilling of the three firm wells is expected to take approximately four months to complete, and if all the option wells are drilled, the contract could extend into September 2005. The rig's current drilling commitments with Woodside and BHP Billiton Petroleum Pty. are expected to be completed around January 15, 2005. The additional work with Woodside will not commence until February 15, 2005. During the planned break in drilling commitments, certain required inspections and maintenance work will be performed on the rig.