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READING & BATES CORPORATION BEGINS MULTI-WELL CONTRACT

 HOUSTON, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Reading & Bates Corporation (NYSE: RB) announced today that its fourth generation Friede & Goldman Trendsetter semisubmersible "Jack Bates" (formerly the "Zane Barnes") commenced its tow to the Adriatic Sea on Friday, Dec. 18, 1992, to start a multi-well contract for work in water depths up to 3,000 feet. The contract is for two wells plus option wells, with a minimum duration of at least 160 days, but an expected duration of approximately six to 12 months.
 The rig has completed repairs in Sabine Pass and Galveston from damage suffered during Hurricane Andrew. The "Jack Bates" will be in full working order for the commencement of its contract, with all systems and equipment completely repaired or replaced. The rig was adequately insured for all losses associated with the incident.
 The "Jack Bates" is a truly unique drilling vessel. Its basic design is of a Trendsetter harsh environment semisubmersible and it is currently outfitted to operate in up to 4,000 feet of water in a moored configuration, and it can be extended to 6,000 feet. The rig's variable load capacity exceeds 5,000 LT in the transit and survival modes, and over 6,000 LT in the drilling mode.
 The "Jack Bates" is equipped with an 18-3/4 inch, 15,000 psi WP blowout preventer, consisting of four Cameron Type T rams and two Cameron Type DL annulars. The riser system consists of Vetco 60-foot x 21-inch diameter x 0.625-inch wall riser joints complete with integrated choke, kill, mud boost, and rigid conduit lines. Supporting tension for the riser system is supplied by six dual Western Gear 125,000 pound units providing a total capacity of 1.5 million pounds of vertical pull. The first 3,000 feet of riser is stored vertically in the unique center caisson, affording extremely fast riser running and retrieving times. This, combined with motion characteristics far superior to other units, makes the "Jack Bates" an extremely efficient base from which to conduct drilling operations.
 To carry out those drilling operations, the drilling systems have been designed to match the rig's other superior design concepts. The "Jack Bates" is equipped with a derrick rated for a 2,000,000 pound static load, an Emsco 3000 HP drawworks, a Western Gear 600,000 lb. capacity motion compensator, a Varco TDS-4 top drive system, four modern Derrick Flo-Line shale shakers, and three Oilwell HP triplex mud pumps.
 Reading & Bates is a New York Stock Exchange listed company, engaging in offshore drilling throughout the world.
 -0- 12/22/92
 /CONTACT: T. W. Nagle of Reading & Bates Corporation, 713-496-5000/
 (RB)


CO: Reading & Bates Corporation ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: CON

WB -- NY028 -- 9099 12/22/92 11:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 22, 1992
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