Diamond Offshore Says Two Rigs Break Free During Hurricane Katrina

Karina, 10:51 PM EST Aug. 28, 2005
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Diamond Offshore reported that the jack-up Ocean Warwick could not be found on its drilling location during a search by fixed-wing aircraft early this morning. The rig was located on Main Pass Block 299, approximately 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana in about 200 ft. of water prior to passage of hurricane Katrina. Additional search efforts are under way in an attempt to determine the disposition of the 300-ft. independent cantilever rig. The Ocean Warwick is insured for approximately $50 million net of applicable deductibles and has a book value of approximately $14 million.

In addition, Diamond Offshore said that the semisubmersible drilling rig Ocean Voyager broke free from its moorings in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and has been located approximately 9 miles north of its pre-storm location on Mississippi Canyon Block 711. A limited crew re-boarded the Ocean Voyager this morning in order to secure the unit and to further assess its condition. The U.S. Coast Guard has been notified of both situations.

The Ocean Voyager and Ocean Warwick, like all Diamond Offshore conventionally moored and jack-up rigs located in the Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico, had been secured and personnel evacuated prior to hurricane Katrina passing through the area. Initial fly-bys of other Company rigs in the path of hurricane Katrina have not indicated any damage. However, Diamond Offshore will not be able to make a complete assessment of the condition of all of its rigs until personnel are able to re-board the units over the next few days.

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