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The Associated Press July 9, 2010, 2:22PM ET

Diamond moves rig from Gulf of Mexico to Egypt

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. said on Friday that it will move its Ocean Endeavor rig from the Gulf of Mexico to work under a new contract in Egypt because of uncertainty about the drilling moratorium in the gulf.

Diamond said the new contract with Burullus Gas Co. SAE would bring in as much as $100 million, including a $31 million early termination fee from the last operator of the rig.

Diamond said the new contract runs through the end of June 2011.

Larry Dickerson, Diamond's president and CEO, said the company is "actively seeking international opportunities to keep our rigs fully employed." He said new contracting in the Gulf of Mexico has been "severely restricted."

Diamond Offshore shares fell $1.32, or 2 percent, to $63.94 in afternoon trading.

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