The improvement in operating results reflects record-high average dayrates and rig utilization for the Company's entire fleet. For the first quarter of 2006, fleet-wide marketed utilization of our rigs averaged approximately 97%, compared to approximately 91% during the first quarter of 2005. Currently, approximately 88% of our fleet is contracted or committed in 2006 and about 56% of our fleet is contracted or committed in 2007. Additionally, we are continuing to build backlog into 2008, 2009 and 2010, with a total of approximately 68 rig years contracted or committed. This backlog is expected to result in maximum total revenue of approximately $5 billion over the life of those contracts, and compares with about $1 billion in backlog revenue at this time a year ago.
Larry Dickerson, President and Chief Operating Officer, noted, "The entire market remains robust, and virtually all of the fundamental market conditions that defined 2005 appear to remain in place for 2006. We are confident in our market position and our ability to participate in future market improvements."
Diamond Offshore provides contract drilling services to the energy industry around the globe and is a leader in deepwater drilling.
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