Tidewater To Supply 41 Tugs, Barges Under Two Multiyear Contracts

Tidewater Inc., New Orleans, La., recently announced that its marine service division, Tidewater Marine Service, Inc., has signed two multiyear contracts that will place 41 pieces of inland towing equipment in service in West Africa.

The first contract signed with Noble Bawden Drilling (West Africa), Ltd., calls for Tidewater to provide 31 tugs and barges to service four marsh drilling rigs. The second contract, with Sedco Forex International Inc., provides 10 tugs and barges to service one marsh rig. All five rigs are contracted to Shell Oil of Nigeria under long-term arrangements.

According to Tidewater chairman, president and chief executive John P. Laborde, the two contracts involve a total of 15 tugs and 26 barges. "The equipment will come from a group of recently acquired tugs and barges and from Tidewater's Gulf of Mexico-based inland towing operations, Tidewater Marine Towing," said Mr. Laborde.

"But," he added, "Tidewater fully intends to remain active in inland towing operations on the Gulf Coast."

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