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THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003




December 4, 2002

Davie wins Torch Offshore order
Torch Offshore, Inc. says its subsidiary, Torch Express L.L.C., has entered into a contract with Davie Maritime Inc. of Quebec, Canada for the conversion of the Midnight Express at a cost of approximately $37.0 million. The total cost of the entire conversion project, including anticipated financial costs, will be between $80.0 million and $90.0 million. The 520-foot LASH vessel will be converted into a DP-2 offshore construction vessel with the capability to work in varying water depths throughout the world. The Midnight Express has been at the Davie Maritime shipyard since April 2002 where the functional design was being performed.

Some of the conversion work will begin immediately. however, the complete contract will not become effective until various conditions are satisfied, including arrangements for the required debt financing for the project.

Presumably, the "various conditions" referred to by Torch include the Government of Quebec providing financial guarantees that it has offered. According to a statement made by Quebec Vice Premier Pauline Maurois on October 30, those guarantees, amounting to Canadian $20 million, would only be extended once Davie had gotten an actual contract from Torch. They would also be conditional on Davie, among other things, providing employment for 380 workers for the next 12 months

Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and CEO, Lyle G. Stockstill, noted, "We have worked very closely with the management of Davie Maritime and their technical staff for several months and we are pleased with their professionalism and the way in which they have tackled the project. We are confident that the personnel of Davie Maritime will do a good job with the conversion of the Midnight Express. The current schedule should put the Midnight Express in the water and ready for work in the fourth quarter of 2003. The company is quite excited about the future possibilities that this vessel brings to our fleet."

Established in 1978, Torch Offshore, Inc. is involved in offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction and is expanding beyond its established shallow water niche market in order to serve the worldwide offshore industry's growing needs in deep waters.

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