Unit completes acquisition of 20 drilling rigs

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Aug. 27 -- Unit Corp., Tulsa, completed its acquisition of 20 operational drilling rigs—including 12 SCR electric units—from Kaiser-Francis Co., also based in Tulsa, in return for 7.22 million shares of Unit common stock and $4.5 million cash.

Company officials said 15 of the rigs are currently under contract. Depth capacities of the rigs are 12,000-25,000 ft, with a power range of 650-2,000 hp. Of the group, 15 are rated at 1,000 hp or more.

The acquisition was made through two separate agreements with Kaiser-Francis, one of which gives Unit an exclusive first option to purchase any additional rigs constructed by the seller within the next 3 years, officials said.

The acquisition boosts Unit's fleet to 75 rigs, 52 of which are currently operating. John G. Nikkel, Unit's president and CEO, said, "This transaction benefits Unit because the rigs complement our existing fleet and enhance our presence in our current markets. Fifteen of the 20 rigs will be operating in the Anadarko basin and 5 rigs will be in the Gulf Coast basin."

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