MIDLAND, Texas, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Basic Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE: BAS) ("Basic") today reported selected operating data for the month of September 2008. During the month, Basic added one newbuild rig and retired one rig, maintaining its well servicing rig count at 413 as of September 30, 2008. Rig hours for the month of September 2008 were 74,900 producing a rig utilization rate of 75%, a decrease from 82% last month and the same rate recorded in September 2007.
Drilling rig days for the month of September 2008 were 268 producing a rig utilization of 99%, an increase from 93% last month and 87% in September 2007.
Basic's fluid services truck fleet increased by a net of 112 trucks, which included those trucks acquired in the Azurite asset purchase that was announced on September 29th, bringing its total to 790 trucks as of September 30, 2008.
Ken Huseman, Basic's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "The 7% growth in our year-over-year well servicing rig count and stable utilization rate compared to the prior year is a good indication of the strong performance achieved versus last year in each of our major segments, although our eastern Texas and Louisiana operations were substantially impacted this year by Hurricane Ike. The 99% utilization level in our Drilling segment reflects the continued strong demand in our oil-oriented Permian Basin market. On a sequential basis, our well servicing utilization in September declined from August due to the Labor Day holiday and the impact of Hurricane Ike. We estimate that our utilization rate in September was reduced by approximately two percentage points due to disruptions caused by Hurricane Ike.
"Oil and gas prices declined substantially from the historically high levels earlier in the third quarter but demand remained strong throughout the quarter. With volatile commodity pricing and difficult credit markets, we expect our customers to become more cautious in their spending at least through year-end and until commodity and credit markets stabilize. In turn, we are adjusting our own capital spending plans to preserve financial flexibility until we have better visibility of demand for our services. We are reducing the capital spending plans for 2009 announced in our August operating data press release and will be building only two new "Super Single" drilling rigs, rather than four. The rigs are scheduled for delivery during the first and second quarters of 2009 and both rigs are expected to be under firm contracts shortly. As part of our budgeting process, we are also re-evaluating the number of newbuild well servicing rigs that we plan to order for 2009 delivery.
"These periods of extreme volatility and uncertainty have provided excellent opportunities to build our business over the years. We look forward to using our balanced exposure to mature oil and gas basins and most of the developing plays across the country to take advantage of growth opportunities in each of our business segments."
OPERATING DATA Month ended September 30, August 31, 2008 2007 2008 Number of weekdays in period 22 20 21 Number of well servicing rigs:(1) Weighted average for period 413 383 412 End of period 413 386 413 Rig hours (000s) 74.9 63.0 77.9 Rig utilization rate(2) 75% 75% 82% Number of drilling rigs:(1) Weighted average for period 9 9 9 End of period 9 10 9 Drilling rig days 268 236 259 Drilling utilization 99% 87% 93% Number of fluid service trucks: Weighted average for period 697 654 679 End of period 790 666 678 (1) Includes all rigs owned during periods presented and excludes rigs held for sale. (2) Rig utilization rate based on the weighted average number of rigs owned during the periods being reported, a 55-hour work week per rig and the number of weekdays in the periods being presented.
Basic Energy Services provides well site services essential to maintaining production from the oil and gas wells within its operating area. The company employs more than 5,000 employees in more than 100 service points throughout the major oil and gas producing regions in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas and the Rocky Mountain States. Additional information on Basic Energy Services is available on the Company's website at http://basicenergyservices.com.
Contacts: Alan Krenek, Chief Financial Officer
Basic Energy Services, Inc.
Jack Lascar/Sheila Stuewe
DRG&E / 713-529-6600
SOURCE Basic Energy Services, Inc.