AKITA Drilling has agreed to construct three new rigs for use in Western Canada at a planned cost of $30.5 Million to capitalize on strong market conditions. Two of these rigs will be heavy oil pad rigs, designed with specialty equipment that will include self-moving systems and will enhance AKITA's ability to service the heavy oil drilling market. Construction of these two pad rigs will begin immediately. The rigs will become available for use upon completion, which is scheduled to occur by the beginning of 2007. Once completed, AKITA will have five specialty heavy oil pad rigs in its fleet.
In addition to the heavy oil pad rigs, AKITA has agreed to construct a new style of shallow rig using existing technologies that will be used primarily to drill coal bed methane wells. Construction of this rig will also begin immediately. AKITA anticipates that the rig will be completed by the third quarter of 2006.