Patterson-UTI Energy ( PTEN - Get Report), a contract oil and natural gas driller, said Thursday that it reached an agreement to settle three stockholder derivative lawsuits against it and some executives and directors.

The details of the settlement were not disclosed.

The Snyder, Texas-based company said that the lawsuits were filed in response to its statement on Nov. 10, 2005, that Jonathan Nelson, the former chief financial officer, had embezzled a large sum of money from the company.

The settlement agreement, which includes certain corporate governance measures, is subject to court approval after notice to the shareholders of the company and an opportunity for them to be heard by the court, the company added.

The company's shares were up 31 cents, or 1.2%, at $25.35 earlyThursday.

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