Helis Extends Contract for Atwood's Richmond in the Gulf of Mexico

Atwood Oceanics says that the Richmond's current contract with Helis Oil & Gas Company has been extended with an award of eight additional wells to be drilled in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Helis and Atwood have also agreed that the contract could be further extended by up to four wells subject to reaching mutual agreement on dayrate.

After completing the drilling of the current well in progress, the rig will now have ten firm wells to drill for Helis, which could take until May/June 2007 to complete. The operating dayrate for the current and next two wells (expected to be completed in May 2006) will be $45,000; while the dayrate for the additional eight wells will be $80,000.

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