Marine Drilling Announces Results of Arbitration

Marine Drilling Companies Inc. has announced the results of the arbitration proceeding associated with the rate determination provisions of the drilling contract for the MARINE 700 with Esso Exploration Inc. The arbitration panel awarded Marine Drilling a day rate increase of $9,000 per day for the year beginning August 5, 2000. Marine Drilling will record the historical portion of the increase in the second quarter with the remaining portion being recognized as earned.

The drilling contract with Esso calls for an annual review of the day rate with the potential to increase the day rate, based on market rates for comparable equipment just prior to the contract anniversary, from a base of $130,000 plus adjustments subject to certain caps in years two and three. The contract runs through August 4, 2004 with the cap for years two and three being $165,000 plus adjustments.