NEWS BULLETIN

March 14, 2005 --- Vol. 11, No. 27March 2005

Akita, Doyon form JV; will build new North Slope rig for Pioneer

Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska Inc., Doyon Drilling Inc. and Akita Drilling Ltd. announced today that they have signed a four-year contract to build and operate a rig to perform exploratory drilling services on the North Slope.

The rig will be built in Canada during this summer and operated beginning in 2006 by the newly formed joint venture, Doyon Akita J.V.

The companies said this is a long-term drilling contract.

Pioneer is a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company based in Dallas. The company has operations in the United States, Argentina, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Tunisia. Pioneer has discoveries at Oooguruk in the shallow waters of the Alaska Beaufort Sea and is evaluating development potential at Oooguruk. The company has interests in 1.6 million gross acres in Alaska including federal National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska acreage and state acreage on the central North Slope.

Doyon Drilling Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Doyon Ltd., has five rigs operating on the North Slope and some 290 employees.

Akita Drilling is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, has some 37 drilling rigs in all depth ranges and at full operations employs some 750 people. Akita has operations throughout Western Canada and the northern territories.

Editorís note: See full story in March 20 issue of Petroleum News.


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