|Monday, August 16, 1999
Ocean Rig ASA and Friede Goldman International have reached an agreement on new delivery dates for the Ocean Rig Bingo 9000-1 and Bingo 9000-2, two deepwater semisubmersible rigs under construction at the Pascagoula-based facility Friede Goldman Offshore. The companies agreed to new delivery dates of March 31, 2000, and June 30, 2000, for the Bingo 9000-1 and 9000-2 rigs, respectively. Ocean Rig CEO Christian Huseby said, ``The timing of the delivery for both rigs is favorable based on current market conditions. We are encouraged by increased commodity prices, and we anticipate increased activity in the offshore market next year. The agreement with Friede Goldman allows us to continue the construction process with firm delivery dates.'' J.L. Holloway, chairman and CEO of Friede Goldman International, said, ``Friede Goldman is pleased with the agreement reached by both companies on the new delivery schedules. We will continue to work with our customer, and we are confident we can meet the new delivery dates. We, too, are optimistic about the increased market activity for next year.'' Friede Goldman recently completed its sixth milestone for the Bingo 9000-2 and will receive a $28 million payment this week. The company anticipates reaching its next milestone on the Bingo 9000-1 rig in August. Both companies are continuing discussions concerning possible consequences due to schedule delays and hope to reach a settlement soon. Any new information regarding consequences or the final determination of the situation will be released at that time.