McMoRan Contracts Rowan-Mississippi Jackup for 2 Years

Rowan Companies, Inc. has entered into a drilling contract with McMoRan Oil & Gas LLC for the new 240C class jackup, Rowan-Mississippi.

The contract is for a two-year term and will provide Rowan with approximately $160 million of drilling revenues. The rig will drill one or more ultra deep gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico, including additional drilling on the Blackbeard Prospect. McMoRan's partners in the drilling program include Plains Exploration & Production, Inc. and Energy XXI. Rowan's Gorilla IV jackup is currently drilling a well on the Blackbeard Prospect to a depth of approximately 35,000 feet.

The Mississippi is currently at the Rowan's Sabine Pass, Texas facility for final outfitting. The rig is scheduled for christening on November 1, 2008, and should commence operations in the Gulf of Mexico immediately thereafter.

Danny McNease, Rowan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The demand for premium equipment and proven drilling contractors is continuing throughout the world. We have seen the Gulf of Mexico drilling market strengthen in recent months, and we are especially encouraged by interest in the ultra-deep gas play. Our quality fleet and personnel have us well-positioned to continue capitalizing on challenging drilling opportunities as they arise, and we are confident that they will."

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