Oil and gas exploration and production companies need a little support in order to ply their trade around the globe, and like a good neighbor, Nabors Industries, the world's largest land drilling contractor, helps them out. The company has about 500 land-drilling rigs, and more than 580 US-based and 174 Canada-based land workover and well-servicing rigs. Nabors operates across the US and in Africa, Canada, Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East, and Russia. Its offshore equipment includes 39 platform rigs, 12 jack-ups, and four barge drilling rigs. Nabors provides oil field hauling, maintenance, technical services, well logging, engineering, and construction services. It also has minor oil and gas holdings.
Nabors has grown from a land drilling business focused on North America (it had only 38 rigs in 1987), to an international business with operations on land and offshore in many of the world's major oil, gas and geothermal markets. Operating in 27 countries, the company engages in multiyear contracts with oil majors, national oil and gas companies, and independent oil and gas firms, a strategy that helps it weather the ups and downs of the oil markets. It also invests in oil and gas exploration and production activities through joint ventures in the US (Alaska, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming) and Canada.
Following the slump in oil industry due to the recession in the late-2000s, in 2011 the company reported a robust growth in revenues (46%), thanks to much higher commodity prices and an increased demand for oil and gas exploration and production activities. Net income bounced back too (by 157%) thanks to acquisitions, higher revenues and lower costs on the sales on long-lived assets.
As part of a strategy to monetize its exploration and production segment, in 2011 the company sold some oil and gas properties in California for $76 million. It also dissolved its oil and gas joint ventures in Canada and Colombia.
Nabors is looking to fully activate its fleet of rigs as the return of higher oil prices has majors and others expanding their drilling programs again.
Nabors moved to expand its service offerings in 2010 when it acquired Superior Well Services, an Indiana-based operation with global reach. That company, with its technical production and related services, is particularly well-suited to complement Nabors' move into drilling the shale oil regions of North America. The deal was valued at some $900 million. – less