January 31, 2011 / 5:47 PM / 8 years ago

Offshore drillers move worker families from Egypt

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Transocean and Diamond Offshore, two major offshore oil and gas drilling contractors, said they had evacuated the families of its expatriate workers from Egypt due to civil unrest in the country.

Officials for the two companies said on Monday the offshore rigs could sustain themselves for several days.

The popular uprising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has now been running for about a week.

Transocean Ltd, which employs 1,000 people in the country on land and offshore, said its Cairo office was closed along with the expatriate accommodation, and it kept a skeletal onshore presence to support its rigs, a spokesman said.

The Switzerland-based company has 10 rigs in Egypt, including five currently working and one in the shipyard.

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc said about a dozen people had been evacuated, mostly the spouses and children of its staff, who support its three rigs working in the waters near Egypt.

A Diamond spokesman said the deepwater rig Ocean Endeavor, which moved last year from the Gulf of Mexico to Egypt to work for Burullus Gas Co, had recently managed a crew change.

Reporting by Braden Reddall; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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