HOUSTON, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hercules Offshore, Inc. (Nasdaq: HERO) announced today that it has closed the previously announced acquisition of the offshore drilling rig Ocean Columbia from a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE: DO) for $40 million in cash. Ocean Columbia, to be renamed Hercules 266, is a LeTourneau Class 82 SD-C self-elevating drilling rig. The Company also announced the execution of a contract for the dry tow transportation of the Hercules 266 from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to a shipyard in the Middle East in the second quarter of 2012, where the rig will undergo capital upgrade and contract preparation work, before commencing on a three year contract with Saudi Aramco. Over this three-year period, the Company expects to generate total revenues of approximately $160.0 million, including a lump-sum mobilization fee. John Rynd, Chief Executive Officer and President stated, "By closing early on the rig acquisition and quickly securing access to a dry tow vessel, we gain greater operational flexibility to perform the required upgrade work and deliver the rig on a timely basis. Our current operations for Saudi Aramco with the Hercules 261 and Hercules 262 provide us with significant experience at the shipyard in dealing with Saudi Aramco's high standards. Based on this experience, we are confident in contract commencement by late 2012. " Additional Information Headquartered in Houston, Hercules Offshore, Inc. operates a fleet of 43 jackup rigs, 17 barge rigs, 63 liftboats, two submersible rigs, and one platform rig. The Company offers a range of services to oil and gas producers to meet their needs during drilling, well service, platform inspection, maintenance, and decommissioning operations in several key shallow water provinces around the world. Hercules Offshore currently holds 28.0% of share capital in Discovery Offshore, a pure play, ultra-high specification jackup rig company. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.herculesoffshore.com. The news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the factors described in Hercules Offshore's most recent periodic reports and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available free of charge at the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov or the Company's website at http://www.herculesoffshore.com. Hercules Offshore cautions you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected or implied in these statements. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.herculesoffshore.com. SOURCE Hercules Offshore, Inc.