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 HOUSTON, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Pride Petroleum Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRDE), through its wholly owned subsidiary Pride International Ltd., has expanded its international operations with the acquisition of two well servicing and drilling companies in South America.
 Pride has purchased for cash a majority, controlling interest in an Argentine company owning 23 rigs and purchased 100 percent of a Venezuelan company owning 14 rigs. No other financial terms of the transactions were disclosed. Pride expects the acquired operations to incrementally add approximately $35 million to annual revenues.
 The Argentine company, acquired from Western Atlas International, has been renamed Pride Petrotech S.A.M.P.I.C. The 35-year old company, headquartered in Buenos Aires, has approximately 550 employees. Its fleet of 23 well servicing and drilling rigs is operated from service bases located throughout Argentina's oil producing provinces. Jorge E. Estrada M., formerly president-Worldwide Drilling Division of Geosource, has acquired a minority interest in Pride Petrotech S.A.M.P.I.C. and will serve as its president.
 Pride also has completed the acquisition of Perforaciones Western C.A., Cuidad Ojeda, Venezuela. The acquired assets include 14 well servicing and drilling rigs equipped for 24 hour operation. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Pride also obtained an option to acquire an affiliated Colombian company. That enterprise currently has only limited operations.
 Ray H. Tolson, president and chief executive officer of Pride Petroleum Services, said, "We are excited about these acquisitions and about Pride's potential in South America. Privatization in Argentina of numerous oilfields, and recently of the state oil company itself, has resulted in substantial new investment from international oil companies, creating additional demand for well servicing and drilling rigs. Venezuela's proved oil reserves are the largest in the Western Hemisphere, and demand for both well servicing and drilling is growing there as a result of the government's agreements with independent operators to further develop marginal fields.
 "We are aggressively pursuing other opportunities in the international well servicing market. Two additional and newly contracted Pride rigs are presently in transit to Western Siberia. These rigs will expand the company's existing Russian operation. Since May, operations have been successfully performed for a U.S./Russian joint venture," Tolson stated.
 Pride Petroleum Services, Inc., headquartered in Houston is one of the largest well servicing contractors in the United States.
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 /CONTACT: Paul A. Bragg or Eugene C. Fowler of Pride Petroleum Services, 713-789-1400, or Pat L. Hoyt of Hoyt & Associates Investor Relations, 713-665-2549, for Pride Petroleum Services/

CO: Pride Petroleum Services, Inc. ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: TNM

CK -- NY047 -- 8294 08/02/93 10:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 2, 1993

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