Independence Contract Drilling Announces Successful Private Placement


Houston, March 19, 2012—Independence Contract Drilling, a newly formed Houston-based drilling contractor, today announces the closing of the second tranche of its formation financing.  In total, Independence has raised $153 million in equity capital from a group of leading global energy investors, including Sprott Resource Corp., 4D Global Energy Advisors, and Lime Rock Partners.

The Company began operations in late 2011 to provide the US E&P industry with a fleet of state-of-the art, fast moving programmable AC rigs designed to be best in class for the drilling and development of shale and tight oil basins in North America.   The Company is led by Byron Dunn, CEO, Steve Hale, President and COO, Philip Choyce, CFO and General Counsel, and Dave Brown, President – Rig Manufacturing, who combined have over 125 years of industry experience.

Independence is vertically integrated, and will manufacture and service its fleet of 1,600 horsepower and 1,000 horsepower programmable AC ShaleDriller rigs from its Houston headquarters.  The ShaleDriller series AC rigs are designed to target longer-reach horizontal wells that are technically demanding and are more efficiently drilled by high-specification, programmable AC rigs that precisely control key drilling parameters.  In addition, the ShaleDriller series has “walking” capability to allow the rig to be quickly moved to a new drilling location on a pad without disassembling and reassembling the rig.

The formation capital raised will fund the manufacture of Independence Contract Drillings’ initial fleet of 15 new-build fast moving programmable AC ShaleDriller series rigs through year-end 2013 and up to 40 by the end of 2014.  Independence’s first two rigs are currently nearing completion and will begin working for customers under current contracts in the second quarter of 2012.

Byron Dunn, CEO of Independence, noted, “Today is an important day for Independence, as we are now fully capitalized to launch our plan to offer premium drilling services in the fastest growing basins in North America.  We have already begun contracting with customers to help them drill wells quickly, safely, and efficiently, and we look forward to rapidly expanding our fleet.  We believe that Independence Contract Drilling will differentiate itself through its state-of-the art fleet and internal field service group, providing the best service available to our customers.”

Tom Bates, Chairman of Independence and a Senior Advisor to the Lime Rock Partners team, added, “The entire investor group in Independence is thrilled that the two successful equity raises have given us critical mass to become a leading premium drilling contractor.  There is a renaissance in the North American tight oil and shale sector that has led to increasingly larger expectations for the availability of hydrocarbon resources in North America. Currently only 20% of the U.S. rig fleet features the programmable AC technology desired for unconventional drilling.  We believe that as Byron, Steve, and the Independence team rapidly rolls out its fleet, they will combine differentiated customer service and outstanding rigs to meet the growing need for improved drilling performance required by our customers.”

FBR Capital Markets advised Independence on various aspects of its capital raising and strategic development.

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