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Press release from CNW Group

TRINIDAD DRILLING LTD. ANNOUNCES 2012 CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TRINIDAD DRILLING LTD. ANNOUNCES 2012 CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM08:00 EDT Wednesday, May 18, 2011/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES/TSX SYMBOL: TDGCALGARY, May 18 /CNW/ - Trinidad Drilling Ltd. ("Trinidad" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it has agreed to build three new highly automated, modern rigs for delivery into operations in 2012."Conditions have improved considerably over the last 12 months in the drilling industry and demand is high for the deep, technically advanced drilling rigs that Trinidad is known for," said Lyle Whitmarsh, Trinidad's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As demand grows and the right style of equipment becomes harder to find, our customers are increasingly signing up both new and existing equipment in order to meet their development plans."Trinidad has agreed to construct three new 18,000 foot (5,500 metre) triple rigs with 1,500 horsepower for a major North American oil and gas exploration company. The first two rigs are expected to be delivered in to Trinidad's US operations in mid-2012 and the third rig will be operational in North America towards the end of 2012, with the final location to be confirmed by the customer closer to completion of its construction. The rigs will be equipped with Trinidad's industry-leading technology and automation and are expected to cost approximately $54 million in total. Trinidad expects that $15 to $20 million of the rigs' construction costs will be incurred in 2011, with the remainder falling into 2012. The rigs are backed by five-year, take-or-pay contracts that guarantee 100% utilization throughout the term of their respective contracts.Including the rigs being constructed in 2011 and 2012, Trinidad has 54% of its fleet under contract with an average term remaining of 2 to 2.5 years. Following the completion of the rig build program, Trinidad will have a total of 125 drilling rigs with 56 rigs in Canada, 66 rigs in the US and 3 rigs in Mexico.Trinidad is a growth-oriented corporation that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TDG. Trinidad's divisions operate in the drilling, well-servicing, coring and barge-drilling sectors of the North American oil and natural gas industry with operations in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Trinidad is focused on providing modern, reliable, expertly designed equipment operated by well-trained and experienced personnel. Trinidad's drilling fleet is one of the most adaptable, technologically advanced and competitive in the industry.FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSThe document contains certain forward-looking statements relating to Trinidad's plans, strategies, objectives, expectations and intentions. The use of any of the words "expect", "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "objective", "ongoing", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "plans", "intends", "confident", "might" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information or statements. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this document. The forward-looking information and statements included in this document are not guarantees of future performance and should not be unduly relied upon. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated and described in the forward-looking statements. Such information and statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information or statements. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, this document may contain forward-looking information and statements pertaining to the completion of announced rig construction programs on a timely basis and on economical terms; the assumption that Trinidad's customers will honour their take-or-pay contracts; fluctuations in the demand for Trinidad's services; the ability for Trinidad to attract and retain qualified personnel, in particular field staff to crew the Company's rigs; the existence of competitors, technological changes and developments in the oilfield services industry; the existence of operating risks inherent in the oilfield services industry; assumptions respecting capital expenditure programs and other expenditures by oil and gas exploration and production companies; assumptions regarding commodity prices, in particular oil and natural gas; assumptions respecting supply and demand for commodities, in particular oil and natural gas; assumptions regarding foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates; the existence of regulatory and legislative uncertainties; the possibility of changes in tax laws; and general economic conditions including the capital and credit markets. Trinidad cautions that the foregoing list of assumptions, risks and uncertainties is not exhaustive. The forward-looking information and statements contained in this document speak only as of the date of this document and Trinidad assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as may be required pursuant to applicable securities laws.This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the shares in any jurisdiction. The shares offered will not be and have not been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to a United States person, absent registration, or an applicable exemption therefrom.For further information: Lyle Whitmarsh, President and Chief Executive Officer, (403) 265-6525; Brent Conway, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, (403) 265-6525; Lisa Ciulka, Director of Investor Relations, (403) 294-4401, email: lciulka@trinidaddrilling.com