Diamond Offshore Drilling has entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) to utilize the 5th generation rig Ocean Baroness in the Gulf of Mexico for a period of three years commencing in early November 2006. Maximum total revenue provided for under the LOI would be approximately $400 million. The LOI is subject to customary conditions, including the execution of a definitive agreement.
Larry Dickerson, President and Chief Operating Officer, said, "The addition of this contract would extend the backlog for the Baroness until late 2009 and would further augment our stream of future revenue and cash flow. This LOI is evidence of the emphasis operators are placing on premium deepwater equipment, which is currently in tight supply."
The Ocean Baroness was upgraded in 2002 for deepwater high-specification drilling. The rig has operated in Southeast Asia since its modernization, and was recently mobilized to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, arriving in early November 2005. The Baroness is expected to commence drilling under a one-year contract late this week.
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