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April 7, 2010

Yard upgrades let Signal accommodate deep draft semis

A subsidiary of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. has awarded dockside shipyard work on the Ocean Baroness semisubmersible-drilling rig to Signal International, LLC. The rig is currently docked at Signal's Pascagoula Mississippi East Yard undergoing mooring chain inspection and chain locker repairs, general steel renewals, piping upgrades and ABS survey work.

Ongoing enhancements at the East Yard have enabled Signal to accommodate large semisubmersibles, such as the Baroness, that draw over thirty feet of water depth. A 60-foot water depth by 300 x 500 foot hole was dredged near the dock. Additional dredging, from 35-foot to 42-foot depth, was also completed along a 1,005 foot stretch at the East Yard's dockside.

"By investing in deepening our water frontage, Signal will be more competitive and attract more business to the region," commented Dick Marler, Signal's President and CEO. Together, these physical enhancements render the Signal facility ideally suited to perform work on the deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

A significant part of the funding for Signal's Pascagoula yard improvements was provided by a block grant from the State of Mississippi Development Authority. The grant money is specifically earmarked for development of Mississippi business infrastructure with the aim of providing increased quality employment for Mississippians.

"As a recipient of these funds we were able to jump-start and complete the dredging," remarked Mr. Marler, "enabling us to secure the deep-draft project and sustain employment in Pascagoula."


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