Patterson/UTI Energy, Inc Buys Clere Drilling Company Assets

SNYDER, Texas, Dec. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- PATTERSON-UTI ENERGY, INC. (Nasdaq: PTEN - news), the second-largest operator of land-based oil and natural gas drilling rigs in North America, today announced the acquisition of 17 land-based drilling rigs from Cleere Drilling Company. The acquisition also included 28 rig-moving trucks as well as other equipment and inventory. The rigs are located throughout much of Texas and increase the Company's total to 319 land-based drilling rigs that operate in oil and natural gas producing regions of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Mississippi, Alabama and western Canada. The assets were acquired for $13.5 million in cash, 450,000 shares of Patterson-UTI Energy common stock, and 325,000 warrants convertible into common shares at a price of $26.75. Mark S. Siegel, Patterson-UTI's chairman, stated, ``We are very pleased to complete our first post-merger acquisition at Patterson-UTI Energy. With this acquisition the combined entities have acquired a total of 44 drilling rigs in 2001, a total that is consistent with both Patterson's and UTI's acquisition strategies over the past few years.'' Mr. Siegel added, ``With our strong cash position and $100 million line of credit, we have positioned Patterson-UTI to be able to respond quickly and selectively to unique situations that may arise in the marketplace. We believe that the Cleere assets represent such an opportunity, and are a good fit with our current operations and market coverage.'' Cloyce A. Talbott, Patterson-UTI's Chief Executive Officer, commented, ``We are particularly pleased that Kirk Cleere will be joining the Patterson-UTI team. We expect his expertise and many years of experience to enhance our organization and strengthen our competitive position in the marketplace.''

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