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READING & BATES ADVISED AGIP WILL NOT EXERCISE REMAINING OPTIONS UNDER CURRENT DRILLING CONTRACT

 HOUSTON, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Reading & Bates Corporation (NYSE: RB) announced today it has been advised that Agip S.p.A. will not exercise its remaining options under the current drilling contract for the semi-submersible drilling unit Jack Bates and that the rig is expected to be released mid-month. The Jack Bates has been working for Agip since February of this year in a drilling and production program that set several records including the world's deepest water for commercial production at 850 meters, and the deepest water for commercial production from a horizontally drilled well section.
 Reading & Bates expects the Jack Bates to secure additional work before the end of 1993 or in the first quarter of 1994. The company intends to continue its discussions with Agip regarding possible use of the Jack Bates for resumption of Agip's deep water program in 1994.
 Reading & Bates is a New York Stock Exchange-listed company, providing offshore drilling services throughout the world. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Reading & Bates Development Co., provides engineering, construction and project management services to the upstream offshore oil and gas industry worldwide.
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: Charles R. Ofner of Reading & Bates Corporation, 713-496-5000/
 (RB)


CO: Reading & Bates Corporation; Agip S.p.A. ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: CON

JS -- NY103 -- 0877 11/04/93 15:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 4, 1993
Words:219
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