Ensign Energy Services Inc. announces expansion of its United States operations


CALGARY, July 20, 2011 /CNW/ - Ensign Energy Services Inc. ("Ensign" or the "Company") (TSX: ESI) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the land drilling division of Rowan Companies, Inc. ("Rowan Land Drilling"), for a purchase price of USD $510 million plus working capital, payable in cash on closing, which is expected to occur following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. Rowan Land Drilling owns and operates 30 deeper capacity electric land drilling rigs, all of which are equipped with top drives, in the southern United States.

The acquisition by Ensign of Rowan Land Drilling will provide Ensign with a substantial presence in the southern United States, complementing Ensign's existing United States operations in the Rocky Mountain region and California. Rowan Land Drilling has experienced and professional personnel operating one of the newest AC horizontal premium drilling rig fleets in the business, as over one-half of the drilling rigs were constructed in the last five years and many of the drilling rigs are equipped with automated pipe-handling capabilities. The drilling rig fleet is comprised of 24 x 2000hp drilling rigs, 3 x 3000hp drilling rigs and 3 x 1500hp drilling rigs, and is ideally suited for extended-reach drilling in the oil and natural gas resource plays of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Oklahoma.

The purchase price will be funded through Ensign's existing working capital, available lines of credit and a new term facility of up to USD$400 million from the Company's bankers, HSBC.

The addition of the Rowan Land Drilling business to Ensign's existing operations in the United States will enhance Ensign's ability to capitalize on strengthening industry fundamentals in the United States and to access a diverse customer base in the increasingly important oil and natural gas resource plays of the southern United States. The quality and experience of the personnel and the excellent safety and operational performance of the Rowan Land Drilling business, will allow Ensign to continue to provide its existing and new customers with high value drilling services.

Upon completion of the transaction, Ensign's global drilling rig fleet will increase to 340 marketed drilling rigs, with 115 drilling rigs located in the United States.

Ensign Energy Services Inc. is an international oilfield services contractor based in Calgary, Alberta. Ensign's common shares are publicly traded through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: ESI).

For further information:

Bob Geddes, President & COO, or Glenn Dagenais, CFO, at 403-262-1361