Lime Rock Partners and Hercules Drilling Company Announce the Purchase of Nine Offshore Drilling Rigs


HOUSTON, August 2, 2004 – Hercules Drilling Company announced today that they have purchased five jackup drilling rigs and four platform rigs from Parker Drilling Company. The jackup rigs have been renamed Hercules 11, Hercules 15, Hercules 20, Hercules 21, and Hercules 22; the platform rigs have been renamed Hercules 2, Hercules 3, Hercules 10, and Hercules 41. Hercules owned and operated these rigs prior to their sale to Parker in December 1997.

Hercules Drilling Company currently manages one jackup working in the US Gulf, The Odin Victory (to be renamed Hercules 30), which is currently drilling for Spinnaker Exploration. Hercules Drilling Company will now manage the sixth largest fleet of drilling jackups in the US Gulf.

Tom Seward, Chief Executive Officer of Hercules commented: “Shallow water jackups that have the ability to drill deep – 20,000 foot range – are entering a new period of demand and increasing dayrates in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. These characteristics are the focus of the Hercules jackup fleet. We look forward with optimism to facing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Lime Rock Partners, an energy-specialist private equity firm, has a controlling interest in Hercules. John Reynolds, Managing Director at Lime Rock Partners, stated, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Hercules management in the acquisition of these offshore rigs. We believe that Hercules’ culture of safe, cost-efficient operations is ideal for customer requirements in the shallow water Gulf of Mexico.”

Lime Rock Partners, based in Westport, Connecticut, is a private equity firm with over $420 million under management dedicated to investing in energy companies with high growth potential. With offices in the major energy centers of North America and Western Europe, Lime Rock targets growth equity investments in companies involved in convetional oil service, technology-focused oil service, and exploration and production. For more information please visit

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