Diamond Offshore Begins Ultra-Deepwater Upgrade of Ocean Monarch

Diamond Offshore Drilling has begun a major upgrade of the Victory-class semisubmersible Garden Banks, which has been renamed Ocean Monarch. The modernized rig will be designed to operate in up to 10,000 ft. of water in a moored configuration and will be among the most capable of the Company's upgraded Victory-class units. The project is budgeted at $300 million including capitalized overhead and interest, spares, testing and delivery, mobilization to Singapore, and all other associated expenditures. The rig, which is the fourth in a series of 5th generation Victory-class upgrades that includes the Ocean Baroness, Ocean Rover and Ocean Endeavor, is expected to be ready for service in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The Monarch, currently cold stacked in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to be mobilized to Keppel-FELS Ltd.'s shipyard in Singapore in mid 2006.

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