GlobalSantaFe Delays Start of GSF Development Driller Operations

GlobalSantaFe has delayed the startup of its two new semisubmersible rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico after an inspection revealed defects in the rigs' thruster nozzles.

The company is investigating the cause and extent of resulting damage to the thruster nozzles on the GSF Development Driller I and GSF Development Driller II, which were mobilized from a Singapore shipyard after delivery in the first quarter of 2005.

"We are working closely with the manufacturer to complete the necessary repairs in the most efficient manner and commence operations as soon as possible," said GlobalSantaFe Chief Operating Officer Matt Ralls. "Our preliminary assessment indicates that these repairs could delay the start of operations by approximately 8 to 12 weeks, assuming no major weather related delays. The impact of the delay on the company's financial results for the third quarter of this year is expected to be in the range of 2 to 3 cents per share."

The Development Driller II was in final preparations to commence operations for BP on its Atlantis project this week, and the Development Driller I was scheduled to start a multi-well exploration and development program for BHP Billiton in mid-July.

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