Patterson-UTI Sees Higher Demand in Rigs for 2010 Drilling Activities

Patterson-UTI Energy has reported financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2009. The Company reported a net loss for the third quarter of 2009 of $18.6 million, or $0.12 per share, compared to net income of $109 million, or $0.69 per share, for the third quarter of 2008. Revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 were $176 million, compared to $609 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.

The Company reported a net loss of $20.1 million, or $0.13 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, compared to net income of $268 million, or $1.71 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2008. Revenues for the first nine months of 2009 were $633 million, compared to $1.6 billion for the first nine months of 2008.

Douglas J. Wall, Patterson-UTI's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our average number of rigs operating increased in the third quarter ended September 30, 2009 to 73 rigs, including 70 in the United States and 3 in Canada. This compares to an average of 63 rigs operating in the second quarter of the year, including 61 in the United States and 2 in Canada. We currently have 93 rigs operating, including 88 in the United States and 5 in Canada."

Mr. Wall added, "Average revenue per operating day for the three months ended September 30, 2009 was $16,800, compared to average revenue per operating day of $17,780 for the three months ended June 30, 2009. Average direct operating costs per operating day for the third quarter of 2009 were $10,630, compared to $9,960 for the three months ended June 30, 2009. As a result, average margin per operating day in the third quarter of 2009 was $6,170 compared to $7,820 for the second quarter of 2009.

"Our average rig count in the third quarter included 4 rigs that earned standby revenues of $3.4 million. This compares to an average of 7 rigs that earned standby revenues of $7.5 million in the second quarter. These rigs earned a discounted dayrate as they did not have crews and incurred lower costs than our working rigs. Accordingly, standby rigs reduced both average revenue and direct operating costs per operating day.

"During the third quarter of 2009 we had an average of approximately 28 rigs operating under term contracts (including the 4 rigs earning standby revenues). We expect to have an average of approximately 33 rigs (including 1 rig earning standby revenues) under term contracts for the remainder of the year. We expect to have an average of approximately 34 rigs in 2010 and 21 rigs in 2011 under existing long-term contracts.

"We have activated 16 new Apex(TM) rigs so far this year. We currently have term contracts for 6 additional new advanced technology Apex(TM) rigs," he concluded.

Mark S. Siegel, Chairman of Patterson-UTI stated, "Our current working rig count in the United States has increased by 67%, or 35 rigs, from our average working rig count in June of this year. This increase includes the delivery of 9 new Apex(TM) rigs and reactivation of 26 rigs. The new Apex(TM) rigs were deployed to shale and unconventional resource plays. The reactivated rigs are primarily working in established conventional drilling areas.

"We are continuing to experience an increase in demand for our rigs as customers prepare for increased drilling activities in 2010. Consistent with the increase in demand, our spot market dayrates stabilized during the third quarter and have recently started to increase."

Mr. Siegel added, "We are continuing to maintain tight control over costs, while investing in our fleet. We believe that we are well-positioned to react quickly and efficiently as conditions further improve. It is worth noting that our balance sheet at September 30, 2009 remains strong with $119 million in cash and no debt."

The Company declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $0.05 per share, to be paid on December 30, 2009 to holders of record as of December 15, 2009.
 

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