H&P to Complete 25th FlexRig This Mont

Helmerich & Payne reports that the 25th FlexRig3 will be completed later this month, and that the Company's Board of Directors has approved the construction of an additional seven FlexRig3s. Beginning in July, the Company intends to complete one FlexRig3 every 30 to 45 days at an average cost of approximately $10,750,000 per rig.

Helmerich & Payne President and CEO, Hans Helmerich, commented, "Given the tremendous acceptance of the FlexRig3 technology and the continued strengthening of the U.S. land rig market, we are pleased to announce the extension of our FlexRig3 construction project. The FlexRig3 program has exceeded our expectations in many ways. Even in a soft market, each of the 25 new rigs has experienced full utilization at premium dayrates. We have achieved cost reductions in the program's assembly, start-up, and daily operations. Customers have been pleased with the rig's ability to lower their overall project costs with reduced drilling time and faster rig moves, all within an improved safety environment. We are encouraged that as industry rig counts and dayrates strengthen, our investors will see enhanced returns from our commitment to this unique effort. Upon completion in the Spring of 2004, the Company will have constructed a total of 50 FlexRigs since 1998."