Torch Offshore Announces Initial Job for the Midnight Hunter

Torch Offshore, Inc. announced the initial contract for the utilization of the Midnight Hunter has been finalized with Sonsub for work on the Canyon Express project in the Gulf of Mexico. The Midnight Hunter will install flowline jumpers in water depths of up to 7,200 feet over a period of approximately four weeks. The work will commence as early as next week after final modifications are made to the vessel to prepare it for such work.

The Midnight Hunter, a 340-foot deepwater pipelay vessel on a three-year time charter, became available to Torch on August 18, 2002 when it arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. In order to prepare the vessel for this subsea construction work, Torch is currently equipping the vessel with a 60-ton crane as well as project specific equipment. The conversion should be completed early next week, and then the vessel will mobilize to the location of the Canyon Express project and begin the work.

Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "This contract for the Midnight Hunter signifies our first venture into the deepwater. I have confidence in the Midnight Hunter and our operating personnel and know the vessel will turn out good work for our customers. Overall, Torch is excited to utilize the Midnight Hunter and begin a new chapter for the Company as we enter the deepwater regions of the world."