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Atwood Contracts New Rig for Asia

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Texas-based offshore drilling contractor Atwood Oceanics, Inc.’s (ATW) subsidiary has inked a contract with oil and gas firm CEC International, Ltd. for the newbuild jackup Atwood Manta. The rig will be deployed in the Gulf of Thailand and offshore Malaysia.

The rig has been contracted at a dayrate of $145,000 for a period of 12 months. Currently, Atwood Manta is under construction in Singapore with PPL Shipyard PTE LTD. The rig is expected to be delivered by November 2012 and will be operational from December 2012.

The Atwood Manta will be equipped with offline handling feature and will be capable of functioning at a water depth of 400 feet. It will have a capacity to accommodate 150 personnel.

The contract signifies Atwood Oceanics’ emphasis on further expanding its overseas offshore exploration programs. We believe the company’s new strategy of optimizing its global oil and natural gas drilling assets will generate favorable returns.

Moreover, the steady rise in crude oil and slowly recovering natural gas prices in the international market will propel the revenue performance of the company.

Recently, a subsidiary of Atwood Oceanics was awarded a three-year contract from Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) for the construction of a new build drillship to enhance its major deepwater exploration and development activities.

Atwood Oceanics owns a fleet of 11 mobile offshore drilling units and has three ultra-deepwater drillships and two high-specification jackups under construction. The company mainly focuses on the drilling and completion of exploratory and developmental oil and gas wells.

Atwood Oceanics carries a Zacks #3 Rank, which is equivalent to a Hold rating for a period of one to three months.

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