Torch Offshore Sees Increase in Fleet Activity

Torch Offshore has seen an increase in its fleet activity. The Midnight Wrangler, a 341-foot dynamically positioned (DP-2) deepwater construction/pipelay vessel, has completed phase 1 of a 4-phase subsea construction project (Ochre) for Mariner Energy, Inc. (Mariner).

Phase 1 was the installation of a subsea tree. Phase 2 will be the recovery of 43,000 feet of double armored subsea control umbilical from the Mustique field. This umbilical will be re-commissioned for installation in phase 4. Recycling the control umbilical is the first project of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico deepwater arena. The Midnight Eagle will be installing tube clamps and equipment at the host platform in phase 3. Phase 4 will be the installation of 42,000 feet of 3 1/2-inch flowline, flexible jumpers, flying leads and the 43,000 feet of refurbished umbilical. Phases 1, 2 and 4 will also be performed with the Midnight Wrangler.

Mariner's Ochre project is a single well subsea tie-back in Mississippi Canyon 66 tied back to Mississippi Canyon 20. Additional Mariner project work that was performed by the Midnight Wrangler, immediately prior to the Ochre project, consisted of the abandonment of pipeline end terminations, umbilical distribution units, flying leads, flowline jumpers and other hardware from three deepwater fields, Mustique 2, Apia and Dulcimer.

In addition, the modular lay system has been commissioned on the Midnight Wrangler and the vessel has begun its first reeled pipelay job.

During the month of September 2003, the Midnight Arrow, Midnight Brave, Midnight Dancer and Midnight Rider were fully utilized while the Midnight Eagle and Midnight Star were nearly fully utilized. The September 2003 utilization was a marked improvement over the utilization experienced in the first two months of the third quarter.

Finally, the Midnight Runner is temporarily operating as a spool base for the Midnight Wrangler. The vessel is being utilized to spool pipe on to 9.2 meter and 8.6 meter reels at the Company's base in Dulac, Louisiana. These reels, once loaded with pipe, will be transported to the Midnight Wrangler and loaded on deck. The modular lay system will then lay the pipe off of the reels. This provides the Company with the ability to spool pipe without incurring the additional capital costs of building a reel base.

Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The work being performed by the Midnight Wrangler represents the future of the Company as we continue with our strategy to enter the deepwater markets of the world. The vessel has garnered quite a bit of attention from the industry because of its versatility and we look forward to keeping the vessel utilized for the remainder of the year. As for the other vessels in the fleet, we were extremely busy during the month of September in the shallow water Gulf of Mexico and see this level of activity carrying over to the fourth quarter of 2003."

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