Santa Fe Reenters Onshore Drilling !n The United States

Santa Fe International Corporation, Orange, Calif., has reached an agreement in principle with A.W. Thompson, Inc., a prominent Texas drilling contractor, to purchase all the outstanding shares of A.W. Thompson, Inc., for $22 million in cash and notes.

A.W. Thompson, Inc., headquartered in Midland, Texas, owns and operates 12 medium and deep oil and gas well drilling rigs, all currently under contract in the west Texas area. The company was founded more than 50 years ago by the late A.W. Thompson, and is now headed by Frank L. Thompson, the founder's son.

Following the acquisition, A.W.

Thompson, Inc. will continue to operate under its own name as a Santa Fe subsidiary and Frank L. Thompson will continue as its president, according to E.L. Shannon Jr., president of Santa Fe International.

The transaction will mark Santa Fe's reentry into the onshore drilling business in the United States after an absence of six years. The company's drilling division sold all its land-based rigs in California in 1971, and since then has operated land rigs e x c l u s i v e ly overseas, while continuing to operate offshore rigs both in the U.S. and abroad.

Through Santa Fe Drilling Co.

and other subsidiaries, the company currently owns and operates 39 land drilling rigs and 19 marine units. All are located outside this country except for two offshore units in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gordon M. Anderson, president of Santa Fe Drilling, said the expansion decision was made following an extensive survey to determine the future demand for land drilling rigs in the U.S. "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to join forces with Thompson," he said, "for it is one of the premier privately owned land drilling contractors in the United States, and is noted for quality equipment and service." Under terms of the agreement, Santa Fe will make an initial cash payment of about $11.7 million to the shareholders of A.W. Thompson, Inc. upon closing of the transaction on or before November 30.

The balance will be paid over a period of four years.

Other stories from November 15, 1977 issue


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