In the oil and gas industry, Helmerich & Payne (H&P) knows the drill: The contract driller operates some 260 land and nine offshore platform rigs, for industry giants such as Occidental Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, and Devon Energy. Its US contract land drilling operations in a dozen states accounts for the bulk of its revenues. It also drills offshore in California and the Gulf of Mexico, and has drilling units in South America and North and West Africa. H&P operates 140 FlexRigs (drilling rigs equipped with new technologies, environmental and safety design, and the capability of simultaneous crew activity). The company also has real estate operations, including a shopping center and office buildings in Tulsa.
H&P has grown through the addition of new equipment and the enhancement of its current drilling fleet. In order to complement technology used by its FlexRig fleet, in 2008 H&P acquired TerraVici Drilling Solutions, which develops proprietary rotary steerable technology to improve horizontal and directional drilling operations. Through integrating this technology the company helps customers improve drilling productivity and reduce costs.
The bulk of H&P's international contract work is conducted in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, Trinidad and Tunisia.
In 2009 the company began operating six FlexRigs in Mexico under a Schlumberger contract. However, its international work has not all been smooth sailing. In 2009 H&P ceased operations on its 11 rigs in Venezuela as customer PDVSA failed to make good on its back payments. The next year, the government of Venezuela seized the rigs, effectively ending H&P's operations in that country (which had accounted for 8% of total revenues in 2008).
Despite these difficulties, the company posted a slight increase in revenues in 2010, thanks to the uptick in demand for oil and gas drilling and higher commodity prices as the global economy recovered from a recession. However, losses from the discontinued operations in Venzuela did trim H&P's income for the year.