Patterson-UTI Ups Earnings by 81%

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. on Thursday announced record results for the year ended December 31, 2006.

Net income for the year increased by 81 percent to $673 million, or $4.02 per share, from $373 million, or $2.15 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2005. Revenues for the twelve-month period were up by 46 percent to $2.5 billion, compared to $1.7 billion in 2005.

Net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2006 increased by 16 percent to $156 million, or $0.97 per share, from $134 million, or $0.77 per share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2005. Revenues for the quarter were up by 20 percent to $638 million, compared to $531 million for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The Company also announced that during the fourth quarter of 2006 it purchased $83 million of the Company's common stock, bringing the total 2006 purchases to $450 million.

The Company also declared a quarterly cash dividend on its Common Stock of $0.08 per share, to be paid to holders of record as of March 15, 2007 and will be paid on March 30, 2007.

Cloyce A. Talbott, Patterson-UTI's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Average revenues per operating day were $20,760 in the fourth quarter, compared to $20,810 in the third quarter, and our average margins per operating day totaled $10,810 compared to $11,170 for the quarter ended September 30, 2006."

He added, "During the fourth quarter of 2006 we had an average of 290 rigs operating, including 278 in the U.S. and 12 in Canada. This compares to a total of 301 rigs operating, including 290 in the U.S. and 11 in Canada, in the third quarter."

"Our contract drilling results for the fourth quarter reflect the effects of warmer than normal temperatures during the winter months of calendar 2006, which resulted in high levels of natural gas storage in the U.S. and decreases in natural gas prices. Customers of North American land drillers have reacted by postponing projects and reducing their drilling activities over the last several months of 2006 and continuing into the first quarter of 2007."

"Demand for natural gas has recently increased due to colder winter weather that began in mid-January of 2007. This recent demand has caused the level of natural gas storage to decline significantly -- below last year's level and closer to the five-year average. We expect the combination of decreased drilling activity, along with the high production decline rates from many existing wells, will reduce the natural gas supply and require increased drilling activity to avoid a shortfall of natural gas. Natural gas prices have also recently improved and may encourage our customers to move forward with postponed projects," Mr. Talbott added.

Mark S. Siegel, Chairman of Patterson-UTI Energy, stated, "We are pleased to report that Patterson-UTI Energy has completed another record year, with significant improvements in our contract drilling, pressure pumping and drilling and completion fluids operations. These record results reflect the commitment and dedication of an extremely talented group of employees throughout our organization."

"Looking ahead, we continue to believe that there will be a substantial increase in natural gas wells drilled in North America, albeit subject to some fluctuation in activity due to weather variations and other factors which affect supply and demand for natural gas. We remain committed to an operating strategy in our contract drilling operations that has, at its core, quality service and an upgraded rig fleet to meet our customers' demands for increasingly complex wells. We believe that this strategy and our strong balance sheet will continue to serve our company well in the future," Mr. Siegel added.

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. provides onshore contract drilling services to exploration and production companies in North America. The Company has approximately 340 currently marketable land-based drilling rigs that operate primarily in the oil and natural gas producing regions of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Canada. Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. is also engaged in the businesses of pressure pumping services and drilling and completion fluid services.