Helmerich & Payne continues to grow

Planning for the future has kept Helmerich & Payne afloat and growing.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: November 13, 2011
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Even when the oil and natural gas industry bottomed out in 2008, Helmerich & Payne Inc. never stopped building.

As a result, the Tulsa-based driller now has the youngest, most technically capable rig fleet in the industry. It also boasts the largest fleet of land rigs in the United States.

“We led the industry recovery,” CEO Hans Helmerich said.

Helmerich & Payne also is one of the leading public companies in Oklahoma, ranking No. 4 on this year's Oklahoma Inc. list with earnings per share rising an impressive 214.4 percent.

Helmerich said the company's focus on building its rig fleet during the recession was not a gamble.

“We stayed very much engaged in an effort to add additional flex rigs. All of those were under long-term contracts from our customers so it wasn't like we were speculating,” he said. “We were being supported by firm orders.”

Continued activity was good for the drilling company's employees as well.

“That kept our people together and kept a core competency intact,” Helmerich said.

The driller still is building more rigs, recently increasing its efforts to churn out four a month.

Helmerich said the company's utilization and day rates have improved as the oil and natural gas industry has moved out of the downturn caused by the economy.