Unit Corporation Purchases Three Rigs
Unit Corporation announced that its contract drilling subsidiary, Unit Drilling Company, has purchased three drilling rigs to add to its existing rig fleet. With the purchase of these three drilling rigs, Unit has added a total of eight rigs since the start of the fourth quarter of 2000, an increase of 17 percent. Unit's fleet now stands at 55 rigs. Demand remains strong and contract rates in each of Unit's core areas continue to escalate.
Unit's recent purchase includes a 1,000 horsepower Continental Emsco D3 diesel electric drilling rig with a depth capacity to 16,000 feet. The second rig in the package is a 1,500 horsepower Continental Emsco A-15E diesel electric rig with a depth capacity to 20,000 feet along with a Tesco top-drive with a 500 ton rating matched to 20,000 foot drilling. Both rigs were purchased for a total price of $6.5 million. In a separate transaction, Unit purchased a 1,000 horsepower National 80UE diesel electric rig with a depth capacity to 16,000 feet for $1.4 million. All three rigs were purchased internationally and are scheduled to ship by sea, arriving in the Port of Houston by mid-June, and will be available for service immediately.
John Nikkel, Unit Corporation's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "This is an exciting time for our industry and for Unit. We have seen virtually full rig utilization for the past eight months, and demand continues to grow in each of our core operating areas. Activity in the Gulf Coast region is particularly strong as reflected by a 26 percent increase in dayrates during the last six months. We are adding at least two of these rigs to our Gulf Coast fleet and are currently negotiating with several operators to put them to work as soon as they are available. The eight rigs we have added to our fleet, combined with the increases in dayrates we are seeing should result in positive financial results year to year, even after the record results we achieved in 2000."