Torch Offshore Wins First Contract for Midnight Express

Torch Offshore reports that the Midnight Express, the Company's 520-foot long DP-2 deepwater pipelay vessel, has been contracted by Energy Partners, Ltd. to lay a 38,000-foot long, 4-inch diameter flowline with a 2-inch umbilical in 437 feet of water at East Cameron 378 in the Gulf of Mexico. This contract will mark the first work for the vessel after the completion of its sea trials.

The Midnight Express is currently expected to commence sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico later this week. All tests of the vessel's pipelay equipment, DP-2 system and crane should be completed in the first week of November 2004. Upon completion of the sea trials, the vessel will begin preparations for the above-mentioned project.

Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are looking forward to the first project for the Midnight Express as we feel very comfortable with the engineering and craftsmanship that has gone into the conversion of the vessel. The project for Energy Partners is a great opportunity for us to show to the industry the capabilities of the vessel and our deepwater team."