Transocean Sedco Forex Drillship Discoverer Spirit Commences Operations

Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. (NYSE: RIG) today announced that its newly constructed, ultra-deepwater drillship, Discoverer Spirit, has completed acceptance criteria testing and has commenced a five-year, estimated $372 million contract with Unocal Corporation's Spirit Energy 76 division in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The rig is currently in route to Spirit Energy's deepwater Dana Point Prospect located at Walker Ridge block 678.

The dynamically positioned Discoverer Spirit is the second Enterprise-class drillship to enter the Transocean Sedco Forex active fleet, following the December 1999 delivery of the Discoverer Enterprise. The rig, which can drill in water depths of up to 10,000 feet, possesses the company's patented dual activity drilling process, comprised primarily of two complete drilling systems within one derrick. The dual activity drilling process allows for certain well construction tasks to be handled simultaneously, rather than in a consecutive manner, and is designed to provide up to a 40% improvement in deepwater well construction efficiency.

A third Enterprise-class drillship, the Discoverer Deep Seas, is undergoing final construction and outfitting at the Aker Gulf Marine yard near Corpus Christi, Texas and is expected to commence a five-year contract with Chevron late in the fourth quarter of 2000.


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