For more than 100 years, Helmerich & Payne (H&P) has been recognized as an industry leader in drilling solutions as well as technological innovation. With their customer-centric drilling solutions approach, combined with the operational excellence of their FlexRig® fleet, software solutions, and their unique integrated business model (designing, building/upgrading, operating fleet and technology implementation), H&P has become the largest onshore driller in the United States with approximately 25 percent of the total unconventional drilling market share. H&P has operated in international markets for the last 64 years in over 30 countries and is positioned to deliver better drilling outcomes across the globe.
H&P’s Vice President, International and Offshore Business Development Jim Nowotny, has nearly 30 years of industry experience and shares his vision for H&P’s partnership with the Kingdom and goals for 2023 and beyond.
How does H&P currently fit into the global drilling industry, and how does the company plan to adapt to the industry’s changing market conditions?
H&P has been a market leader in the upstream oil and gas industry and has been selected #1 in customer satisfaction 14 years in a row by Energy Point Research. As mentioned above, by utilizing H&P’s unique operating model, we have designed, built, and delivered a FlexRig fleet of over 350 rigs which have operated all over the world since 1998. We have more than a century of experience and are constantly innovating and improving our rig designs, as well as our technology, to complement our rigs and improve efficiency and productivity. Our FlexRig fleet of over 200 rigs is currently working in the USA, Colombia, Argentina, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is looking to expand to other countries in the next several years.
We have been focused on expanding our international presence, specifically in the Middle East, and are pleased to share that in 2021 we partnered with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in a strategic alliance where they acquired eight of our world-class rigs, leveraging over 150 years of combined global industry experience to drive efficiency.
We have plans to enter the Saudi market with an updated design of our FlexRig. This customized version is uniquely enhanced for mobility and agility in Middle Eastern terrain, without compromising the unconventional pad drilling that advanced drilling programs require.
In addition to our growth in the Middle East, H&P has also recently formed a strategic alliance with Tamboran Resources Limited, an Australian oil and gas company, to help with the development of the unconventional drilling in the Northern Territory, Beetaloo Basin in Australia.
How does H&P plan to further partner with the Kingdom in 2023 and beyond?
The Saudi market is a priority in H&P’s international growth strategy, and we are committed to fostering relationships with our Saudi partners. H&P is working closely with our clients to ensure we have a rig “fit-for-purpose” for Saudi drilling applications. Our FlexRig fleet design is well suited and unique for unconventional applications for both gas and oil. H&P is steadfast in assisting Saudi Arabia in achieving their “Vision 2030.” H&P is doing this by participating in In Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) initiatives, identifying capable local suppliers/services to partner with including the Saudi Arabia Drilling Academy who can help train Saudi nationals on drilling and associated technology services.
We start by understanding what issues our customers are facing and then working to solve these problems by offering customer-centric solutions and striving to deliver better drilling outcomes. Everything we do is purpose driven with the success of our customers in mind. We plan to work closely with our partners in Saudi Arabia to determine how best to provide desired results. We have several autonomous drilling solutions, like our Bit Guidance System, which delivers information in real time to ensure accuracy in well bore placement, and Autodriller Pro, which recommends the best drilling set points/parameters to maintain consistent bit engagement with the formation and many others. With these solutions and many more innovations, we are leading the development and implementation of autonomous drilling solutions to deliver value through more cost-effective, consistent, precise, and safer drilling outcomes.
What are the growth plans for your company in 2023 and beyond and how does drilling efficiency fit into this?
Efficiency is always at the top of goals. We have several technology applications that help improve drilling in a variety of ways such as wellbore placement, rig control, visualization and enablement, power management, and more. We help our partners achieve success through tight integration and the understanding that teams drill better wells. Since 2014, H&P has driven an 88 percent drilling performance improvement on average in the three largest U.S. unconventional basins.
Can you share a little about H&P’s sustainability solutions?
We are focused on understanding our environmental impacts and ultimately developing strategies rooted in our core values to manage them. H&P offers innovative unconventional drilling solutions to accelerate production while reducing the number of days to drill a well which translates to financial gains and less strain on our environment. In 2021, H&P saved 3.1 days per well on 18 wells.
In 2014, we partnered with YPF to develop the Vaca Muerta basin. We delivered and operated 10 rigs in Argentina using FlexRig technology and saw a 25 percent reduction in cycle time.
Our goal is to have the most efficient rigs possible which result in needing fewer rigs, leading to a smaller carbon footprint and reducing the amount of people required on the drilling location.
While many of our technology solutions are designed to reduce drilling cycle time, which is naturally environmentally friendly, we also have solutions specifically made to improve sustainability. One of these sustainable solutions is engine management. This is a tool that helps reduce emissions by regulating the engines usage on the rigs while drilling. We work hard to find the intersection between environmental care and cost reduction.
Why is H&P specifically prepared to help improve drilling in the Middle East?
No matter what part of the world our customers are in, they want to reduce Non-Productive Time (NPT). To reduce NPT and increase efficiency, we have developed autonomous drilling solutions to make drilling safer, faster, and more profitable. We have concluded successful trials in Saudi Arabia this year and our plan is to expand our technology offerings in upcoming years.
We also have a walking rig specifically modified with the Middle East in mind. It can move to multiple wells on a single pad quickly and efficiently which leads to reduced costs. We’ve increased the height of the rig floor to accommodate various well control configurations.
Paired with our cutting-edge technology, our world class rigs can go even further. We work to provide every customer with the right combination of technology and rig expertise to solve their unique problems. Our experience in the Middle East has only grown over the last few decades and we look forward to partnering more with our Middle Eastern friends and colleagues.