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April 16, 2002

Torch Offshore takes delivery of Midnight Express
Torch Offshore, Inc. has completed the purchase of the Smit Express from Smit International for $9.75 million. The vessel has been delivered to Davie Industries Inc., Quebec, Canada to assist in detailed engineering presently underway related to the conversion of the vessel. The 520-foot vessel will be converted to a DP-2 offshore construction vessel equipped with Torch's patent-pending pipelay system and will be renamed the Midnight Express. All the vessels in the Torch fleet. currently 9 vessels, start their names with "Midnight."

The detailed engineering for the vessel conversion started in early February at Davie Industries Inc. with the assistance of UK-based Maritime Audit and Technical Services Limited ("MAATS"). The first phase of this engineering effort consisted of the validation of the converted ship basic design (general arrangement, power, speed, propulsion/dynamic positioning arrangements, etc.) This phase was completed in mid-March. The second phase consisting of the production of all the detailed drawings and associated documentation required for class (Lloyds Register of Shipping) approval started immediately upon completion of the first phase. This engineering effort should be substantially completed by the end of May 2002.

Having the vessel present at the shipyard should aid the team in the efficiency and accuracy of the engineering.

Lyle Stockstill, Torch Offshore Chairman and CEO, commented, ``We are happy to have the Midnight Express in our possession and even more excited with the timely manner in which the engineering is progressing. The next stage in the vessel conversion will be for the bidding out for a shipyard, which should occur during the second quarter of 2002. This keeps us on schedule for the vessel to be operating in the deepwater arena as early as the third quarter of 2003.''

Torch Offshore is expanding beyond its established shallow water niche market in order to serve the industry's worldwide growing needs in the deep waters.

Earlier this month, Torch announced that another of its units, the Midnight Rider, has had nearly 100% utilization since it began its first project on December 7, 2001.

Torch Offshore, Inc. (Nasdaq:TORC - news), an offshore construction and pipelay company serving the oil and gas industry, announced today that the Midnight Rider.

The Midnight Rider, is a pipelay/bury barge, purchased in June 2001 to expand the company's capabilities on the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Shelf, both in water depth and pipeline diameter. The barge immediately entered dry dock to return it to class and to make minor modifications to improve its capabilities, all completed on time and on budget.

Since its introduction to the GOM Shelf, the Midnight Rider has completed 10 projects, laying and burying 196,555 ft. of pipeline. The vessel worked for a total of 102 days before returning to the dock in mid-March 2002 to make improvements on its jetting system for future projects scheduled to begin in May. During that same time period, Torch Offshore's other pipelay barges were able to maintain steady utilization as well, particularly the Midnight Brave and the Midnight Runner.

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