USA: Diamond Offshore Achieves Strong Operating Results

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. reported net income for the second quarter of 2012 of $201.5 million, or $1.45 per share on a diluted basis, compared with net income of $266.6 million, or $1.92 per share on a diluted basis, in the same period a year earlier. Revenues in the second quarter of 2012 were $738.2 million, compared with revenues of $889.5 million for the second quarter of 2011.

Results for the quarter included an after-tax gain of approximately $50.5 million, or $0.36 per share, related to the sale of five jack-up rigs. These transactions included the sale of the Ocean Sovereign for $38.5 million cash, in addition to the previously announced sales of the Ocean Heritage, Ocean Drake, Ocean Crusader and Ocean Champion. The reduction in the Company’s overall effective tax rate for the quarter, compared to the previous quarter, resulted primarily from the low effective tax rate associated with these sales transactions.

Since the first quarter of 2012, the Company put in place 14 new agreements that are expected to generate maximum total revenue of approximately $1.1 billion and 10 rig-years of contract drilling backlog. Significant among these awarded contracts are the following:

– The Ocean Onyx was awarded a one-year contract with Apache Deepwater LLC, a subsidiary of Apache Corporation, at a rate of $490,000 per day. The rig will work in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico upon its completion and delivery from the shipyard in 3Q of 2013.

– The Ocean Vanguard was extended with Statoil by 20 months to continue operating in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea into March of 2015. The new rate will be $450,000 per day, up from the previous rate of $352,000 per day.

– The Ocean Nomad was awarded a two-year contract with Dana Petroleum to work in the U.K. North Sea until June of 2015. The rate will be $330,000 per day.

– The Ocean Guardian was extended with Shell for one year at a rate of $350,000 per day to continue working in the U.K. North Sea until July of 2015. The current rate is $263,000 per day.

“Our contract announcements reflect the continued strength in deep and mid-water markets,” said Larry Dickerson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Offshore. “In particular, we are pleased with the award for the Ocean Onyx, our deepwater semisubmersible rig currently under construction. The Company is currently evaluating another potential project that would deliver a rig with enhanced capabilities, similar to the Ocean Onyx.”

“Over the past several quarters, our results have also benefitted from our ongoing efforts to control costs and reduce unanticipated rig downtime,” said Dickerson. “During the second quarter, we continued to execute on these initiatives, which contributed to our strong operating results.”

Press Release, July 19, 2012

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