Rowan Awarded Deep Shelf Drilling Contract

Rowan Companies has been awarded a drilling contract by ExxonMobil to drill an ultra deep well on the outer continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico.

This one-well assignment should commence in December 2004 or January 2005 and is expected to last about one year. Rowan has committed its newest rig to the project, the Tarzan Class Scooter Yeargain, subject to availability, or one of three other specialized jack-ups. Rowan estimates revenues from this contract will range from approximately $28 million to as much as $35 million, depending upon the rig utilized.

Danny McNease, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The niche for Rowan's specialized rigs is the emerging market for drilling deep, high pressure/high temperature gas wells on the shallow water outer continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico. There, major oil companies and independent operators are increasingly drilling wells to depths beyond 15,000 feet -- so- called 'deep shelf' wells -- to recover much-needed natural gas from what many in the industry see as a whole new offshore exploration play.

"Rowan has drilled about two-thirds of all the wells drilled so far in the Gulf of Mexico in excess of 18,000 feet. With our specialized equipment and highly-trained and experienced drilling crews, we believe Rowan is well- positioned to maintain a large share of this market."