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Helmerich & Payne continues to grow

Planning for the future has kept Helmerich & Payne afloat and growing.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: November 13, 2011
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He dismissed concerns that another recession could be coming. He said he tends to be more optimistic.

“We think that energy is going to be an important cornerstone of the country's economic growth,” Helmerich said. “It's the same when you look at the global economy.

“In today's environment, that's going to require additional drilling. A lot of that drilling has shifted to unconventional shale plays.”

Helmerich & Payne is well-equipped to deal with the change as more producers are focusing on oil and natural gas liquids, so Helmerich believes the company's progress is sustainable.

Juan Pablo Tardio, the company's chief financial officer, said Helmerich & Payne has 255 land rigs in its U.S. fleet, with 224 of those working, and commitments to build 35 more rigs in this fiscal year. The company also has 24 international rigs and nine offshore drilling platforms.

“We would expect to continue taking market share going forward,” he said.

Tardio said other drilling companies are building new rigs now too, but many of them are trying to replace aging equipment, with as much as 90 percent of their fleets being made up of older rigs.

“Every time they put one new rig out in the field, typically it's at the expense of letting a very old rig become stagnant,” he said. “They have not gained as much traction as we have.”

Helmerich & Payne has built 182 rigs since 2006.

“That makes us by far the youngest land fleet in the world,” Tardio said.

Helmerich said the company never set out to amass the nation's largest fleet of land rigs, but that is what happened.

“We set about wanting to have the highest performing, most capable drilling rig,” he said. “The market has really just responded by allowing us to have the best market share.

“We've been very fortunate.”

Helmerich said he expects the company to capitalize on its investment in new technology as other drilling companies enter replacement cycle to phase out older assets.


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