ENSCO 7500 Begins Drilling Operations

ENSCO International Incorporated announced that its newly constructed, semisubmersible drilling rig, the ENSCO 7500, has completed sea trials and has commenced a three year contract with Burlington Resources Inc. The rig, which was built by Friede Goldman Offshore Texas in Orange, Texas, is currently operating in the Gulf of Mexico East Breaks block 599.

Carl Thorne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ENSCO, commented, "The ENSCO 7500 will address the heart of the deep water market and is in keeping with ENSCO's focus on efficiently expanding its capabilities for deeper water and deeper drilling applications. We are extremely pleased that we could deliver this asset on time and within budget. This unique accomplishment would not have been possible without the outstanding performance by our vendors, particularly the shipyard, Friede Goldman Halter, and the professionalism and support of our customer, Burlington Resources Inc."

The ENSCO 7500 is a dynamically positioned, semisubmersible rig capable of drilling in 8,000 feet of water with a variable deck load capacity of approximately 8,000 tons. The rig is an ENSCO proprietary design intended for work in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil, West Africa or Asia. Construction and commissioning of the rig was completed in approximately twenty-four months at a total cost of about $217 million, which includes the cost of a spare BOP stack, subsea control system and riser string.