Green-Lipped Mussels Strong-Arm Ocean Patriot for $5 Million

Diamond Offshore Drilling will run $5 million over in expenses for the first quarter due to a mussel infestation on a drilling rig located offshore New Zealand.

Diamond said in a teleconference Feb. 7 that the company had to hire divers and blasters to deal with the "new issue," removing the mussel colony from the underbelly of the Ocean Patriot.

Diamond found the mussels while moving the Ocean Patriot from New Zealand to Australia. Diamond officials said the rig was out of commission for 23 days while the mussels were removed.

An extract from the green-lipped mussel is used to provide relief for ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, but in Australia the sea-faring creature is a nuisance. A Diamond Offshore official said that for this reason, the problem had to be addressed in New Zealand before moving the rig to Australia.

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