Atwood Makes Big Rig Commitment

Atwood Oceanics, Inc. announced that the Atwood Eagle's remaining drilling commitment with BHP Billiton Petroleum Pty is expected to extend to the end of May 2008. The remaining wells drilled under this contract will have a dayrate of approximately $170,000.

Following completion of the BHPB program, the rig will drill one well for Eni (expected to take around 45 days to complete) at a dayrate of $360,000 and then commence its two-year commitment with Woodside Energy Ltd at a dayrate of $405,000.

Following completion of the Woodside drilling program (estimated July 2010), Chevron Australia Pty. Ltd. has committed to use the rig at a dayrate of approximately $430,000/$450,000 (subject to adjustment for cost escalation) until the company's new semisubmersible drilling unit being built in Singapore is ready to commence its drilling program commitment in Australia with Chevron. Chevron has an option to continue to use the Atwood Eagle for a mutually agreed term after the new semisubmersible drilling unit arrives in Australia.

The Richmond continues to undergo its life enhancement upgrade which is now expected to be completed in mid-February 2008 at a cost of approximately $17 million. Following the completion of this life enhancing upgrade, the rig has contractual commitments with Helis Oil & Gas and Contango Operations, Inc., both of which have engaged Applied Drilling Technology Inc. to manage the drilling operations.

The Helis contractual commitment involves the drilling of one well at a dayrate of $80,000 for approximately the first 30 days and a dayrate of $65,000 for any additional time required to complete the drilling program.

The Contango contractual commitment involves the drilling of two firm wells plus an option to drill one additional well at a dayrate of $65,000 for all three wells. Atwood expects to drill the Helis commitment immediately following the rig's shipyard work; however, this commitment could be deferred to a later date in 2008. If all four wells are drilled, these drilling commitments could extend to September 2008.

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