Elf Exploration Cancels Sedco Express Contract

Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. announced that it has received a notice of termination from Elf Exploration-Angola (Elf) regarding the three-year contract on the newbuild semisubmersible Sedco Express. The company said that Elf exercised its contractual right to terminate the contract on the Sedco Express in light of the rig's delayed delivery beyond Dec. 28, 2000. Transocean Sedco Forex was advised that the rig's latest estimate of delivery did not match Elf's short-term drilling priorities in Angola.

The Sedco Express continues to progress through the equipment testing and commissioning phase offshore the Canary Islands. The company is currently in discussions with TotalFinaElf and other operators for possible drilling assignments for the rig in West Africa and other regions and believes that current market dayrates for rigs possessing the capabilities of the Sedco Express are in line with the rate that was to have been paid by Elf.