With customer demand rising for super-spec rigs powered by electricity and natural gas, contract drilling giant Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. on Tuesday agreed to trade stock and cash to buy Pioneer Energy Services Corp. for an estimated $295 million.

Patterson M&A

With a fleet of around 150 super-spec, alternating current (AC) rigs, Houston-based Patterson-UTI is one of the leading land drilling and pressure pumping contractors in North America. It currently has 76 rigs under contract across the Lower 48, including 35 in the Permian Basin of West Texas. Eighteen are running across other parts of Texas, with 11 in Appalachia, four in the Midcontinent, three in North Dakota and one in the Rockies. 

With San Antonio-based Pioneer, the company would gain a fleet of 17 U.S. rigs, including 16...