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Parker Drilling Commences Drilling Operations With First of Two Arctic Alaska Drilling Units

HOUSTON, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Parker Drilling Company (NYSE:PKD) announced today it has commenced drilling operations with Rig 273, the first of two Arctic Alaska Drilling Unit (AADU) rigs the Company has developed to safely and efficiently perform in environmentally sensitive, harsh arctic environments.  Rig 273 initiated operations earlier this week under the terms of the Company's five-year contract with BP.  The Company's second AADU, Rig 272, remains on schedule for acceptance testing in 2013.

"These are exciting times for our team," said Gary Rich, president and chief executive officer of Parker Drilling. "True to our heritage of ingenuity and determination, our team is successfully conquering the challenges of developing technological advances and high-performance resources for harsh arctic environments.  We thank BP for working with us to ensure these AADU rigs meet our shared performance objectives for safety and efficiency and we look forward to continuing to work with BP to unlock the full potential of this promising region."

About Parker Drilling

Parker Drilling (NYSE: PKD) provides high-performance contract drilling solutions, rental tools and project management services to the energy industry.  Parker's rig fleet includes 22 land rigs and two offshore barge rigs in international locations, 13 barge rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, one land rig located in the U.S., and two land rigs in Alaska, one of which is undergoing commissioning.  The Company's rental tools business supplies premium equipment to operators on land and offshore in the U.S. and select international markets.  Parker also performs contract drilling for customer-owned rigs and provides technical services addressing drilling challenges for E&P customers worldwide.  More information about Parker Drilling can be found at http://www.parkerdrilling.com, including operating status reports for the Company's Rental Tools segment and its international and U.S. barge rig fleets, updated monthly.

SOURCE Parker Drilling Company

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