Atwood Oceanics to Bid Farewell to Senior Executives

Atwood Oceanics announced today that John R. Irwin, Chief Executive Officer and President, and James M. Holland, Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President and Secretary, plan to retire from the Company with effect from July 31, 2010 and December 31, 2010, respectively, subject to the Company's confirmation of suitable successors.

In contemplation of their departures from the Company, the Company has entered into an Executive Retention Agreement with each of Messrs. Irwin and Holland to secure their services until their respective dates of planned retirement, providing continuity of management in the interim. In connection with the foregoing, the Company has entered into new Executive Agreements with each of Messrs. Irwin and Holland to replace the Executive Agreements dated September 18, 2002 for each of Messrs. Irwin and Holland. At the Company's request, the executives may retire from their executive positions prior to the expiration of the term, but continue employment with the Company in different capacities pursuant to the terms of the Executive Retention Agreements. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board of Directors has engaged an executive search firm to assist with evaluation and recruitment of suitable successor candidates.

On behalf of the Company, Hans Helmerich, Chairman of the Board, expressed "the greatest appreciation for the outstanding dedication and hard work of John and Jim during their service to the Company for over 30 years. John, Chief Executive Officer since 1992, and Jim, Chief Financial Officer since 1988, have ably served the Company, and during their tenures the Company has seen extraordinary growth, resulting in historical records of financial performance."