The improvement in operating results reflects a continuation of higher dayrates and rig utilization across the Company's entire fleet, and is indicative of the present worldwide offshore drilling market. Currently, the fleet's highest dayrates in the Gulf of Mexico include: $172,500 for the 4th generation semisubmersible Ocean Star for work commencing in the third quarter of 2005; $125,000 for the mid-water floater Ocean Voyager for work beginning in mid-November; $76,000 for the 350-ft. jack-up Ocean Titan for work commencing in mid-July; and $60,000 for the 300-ft. jack-up Ocean King for work beginning in early June 2005. The Company is currently bidding renewals in international markets at dayrates also reflecting increases.
Larry Dickerson, President and Chief Operating Officer, said, "Approximately 83% of the Diamond Offshore fleet is contracted or committed in 2005 and we are currently building backlog into 2006, with about 25% of our fleet contracted or committed. We remain confident in the strength of our markets, and believe the Company is well positioned to take advantage of any future market improvements."
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