Atwood Southern Cross to Drill Offshore Bulgaria

Atwood Oceanics reports that the Atwood Southern Cross, has been awarded a contract by Melrose Resources Sarl (a Bulgarian Company and subsidiary of Melrose Resources PLC) to drill three firm wells with options to drill two additional wells off the coast of Bulgaria.

The contract provides for an operating dayrate for all wells drilled of $125,000. Melrose shall provide a tow vessel and dayrate for the mobilization of the rig. If all wells are drilled, the drilling program could extend to six (6) months.

It is expected to take approximately thirty (30) days to move the rig from the Mediterranean Sea to Bulgaria. This contract will commence immediately upon the rig completing its current contract commitments in the Mediterranean Sea (estimated April to May 2006).

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