Pantera Drilling Income Trust Announces Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2009 and Leasing Arrangement for Three Rigs



    
    /NOT FOR DISSEMINATION INTO THE UNITED STATES/

    (TSX: RIG.UN)
    

    CALGARY, May 14 /CNW/ - Pantera Drilling Income Trust ("Pantera" or the
"Trust") is pleased to release its first quarter 2009 financial and operating
results. Additional information relating to the Trust, including the Trust's
financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the three
months ended March 31, 2009 is available under the Trust's profile on SEDAR at
www.sedar.com or the Trust's website at www.panteradrilling.com.

    
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    HIGHLIGHTS
    Three months ended March 31                   2009       2008     Change
    FINANCIAL
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ($000s, except for units and                                        (%)
     per unit amounts)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue                                      9,228      8,054         15
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gross margin(1)                              3,853      3,068         26
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings                                 2,032      1,263         61
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Per unit - basic                             .23        .19         21
               - diluted                           .22        .19         16
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash flow from operating activities          2,772         80      3,365
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Per unit - basic                             .32        .01      3,100
               - diluted                           .31        .01      3,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash distributions declared
     per basic unit                                .09        .09          -
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA(2)                                    3,174      2,392         33
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total assets (end of period)                62,389     56,474         10
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total long-term financial liabilities
     (end of period)                            21,408     23,679        (10)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Units outstanding (weighted average)
      - basic                                8,769,686  6,542,045         34
      - diluted                              9,092,546  6,542,045         39
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Units outstanding (end of period)        8,889,185  6,590,712         35
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OPERATING
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        (%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Number of rigs (end of period)                 7          7          -
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      Operating days(3)                            308        319         (3)
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    Industry utilization average(4)                36%        56%        (36)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pantera utilization rate                       49%        50%         (2)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notes:
    (1) Gross margin represents revenue less operating expenses. Readers are
        cautioned that gross margin does not have a standardized meaning
        prescribed by GAAP and therefore may not be comparable to similar
        measures presented by other issuers. However, Pantera does compute
        gross margin on a consistent basis for each reporting period.
        Management believes gross margin is a useful supplemental measure of
        operating performance and is particularly relevant to readers within
        the investment community.
    (2) EBITDA means net earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation,
        amortization, and gain or loss on disposal of property and equipment.
        Readers are cautioned that EBITDA does not have a standardized
        meaning prescribed by GAAP and therefore may not be comparable to
        similar measures presented by other issuers. However, Pantera does
        compute EBITDA on a consistent basis for each reporting period.
        Management believes that, in addition to net earnings, EBITDA is a
        significant indication of success for Pantera and is particularly
        relevant to readers within the investment community.
    (3) Operating days is the total of all drilling days from spud to release
        and excludes stand-by, moving, rig-up and rig-out days.
    (4) Source: Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC).
    

    Pantera reported net earnings of $2.0 million for the quarter ended March
31, 2009, an increase of 61% over the $1.3 million earned in the first quarter
of 2008. This increase was largely due to the additional revenue generated by
the rental of top drives and hevi-wate pipe purchased in fall of 2008.
Pantera's rig utilization remained relatively consistent, 49% in the first
quarter of 2009 compared to 50% in 2008, exceeding the industry average by
36%. The industry's utilization average decreased 36% from 56% in the first
quarter of 2008 to 36% in 2009.
    Management is pleased to announce that one of the Trust's telescopic
double rigs has been sub-contracted on a short term lease agreement extendible
for up to one year and will be deployed to the Chicontepec region in Mexico.
Management has also committed to lease two additional telescopic double rigs
under a similar leasing arrangement for terms of up to two years. The three
rigs will be operated by Canadian rig managers, drillers and derrickmen. The
contract provides guaranteed revenue with minimum day requirements, achieving
more stability of the Trust's revenue stream in a time of lower industry
activity and greater uncertainty than experienced in recent years.
Preparations for shipment of the rigs are underway, with the commencement of
drilling operations scheduled for June 2009.
    Pantera has a fleet of seven drilling rigs and after spring break up
management expects to have five of its rigs working under term contracts that
provide a guaranteed number of revenue generating days at a fixed daily
revenue amount for the duration of the contract with each of the terms being
at least six months in length. Additional work has been secured and it is
expected that the two rigs not under term contract will be active, however it
is difficult to estimate rig utilization for the full year.
    On April 18, 2009, Pantera was awarded the Safety Leadership Award for
performing above its peer average based on its Total Recordable Incident
Frequency ("TRIF") for the year 2008. This has been the fourth time over the
last five years that Pantera has been presented with this award.
    In accordance with the policy adopted by the Trustees, the Trust
continues to make regular monthly cash distributions. Monthly distributions of
$0.03 per trust unit were paid during the first quarter of 2009.

    Certain statements included in this release constitute forward-looking
statements including, without limitation, such things as revenue expectations,
capital expenditures, legislative changes, changes in industry conditions, the
impact of weather and other seasonal factors that affect business operations,
fluctuations in prevailing commodity prices, the competitive environment to
which Pantera is, or may be, exposed in all aspects of its business and
expected future availability and utilization of Pantera's rigs. Such
forward-looking statements that involve unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Pantera,
or industry results, to be materially different from any future results,
performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking
statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, general economic and
business conditions, the ability of Pantera to implement its business
strategy, and changes in, or failure to comply with government regulations,
especially health, safety and environment laws, regulations and guidelines.
Additional information on these and other factors that could affect Pantera's
operations and financial results are included in reports on file with Canadian
securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR
website (www.sedar.com) under Pantera's profile. Forward-looking statements in
this release may include, but are not limited to, revenue, commodity prices,
rig utilization and availability, capital expenditures and legislative
changes. For this purpose, any statements that are contained in this
discussion that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be
forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements often contain terms
such as "may", "will", "should", "anticipate", "expects", "intends", and
similar expressions. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the
preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of
preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not
be placed on forward-looking statements. Furthermore, the forward-looking
statements contained herein are made as at the date hereof and Pantera does
not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the
included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities
laws.

    The Trust is an open-ended, investment trust governed by the laws of the
Province of Alberta pursuant to the Deed of Trust. The Trust was established
for the purpose of investing in property, including the securities of Pantera
Drilling Limited Partnership and Pantera Drilling Inc. The beneficiaries of
the Trust are the holders of the trust units. The business of Pantera involves
the provision of contract drilling services to oil and natural gas exploration
and production companies operating in Canada.

    %SEDAR: 00023106E




For further information:

For further information: Terry Rosentreter, President and Chief
Executive Officer, or Lorna Pollock, Chief Financial Officer at: Ph: (403)
515-8400, Fax: (403) 515-8405, E-mail: terryr@panteradrilling.com,
lpollock@panteradrilling.com

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PANTERA DRILLING INCOME TRUST

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