Helmerich & Payne, Inc.

An American Story. A Timeless Legacy.

The story of Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (H&P) begins in 1920, on a Star 29 cable rig with two people: Walter "Walt" Helmerich II, an outgoing, adventure-loving barnstormer from Chicago, and William "Bill" Payne, a quiet, hard-working microbiologist from Shawnee, Oklahoma. From this unlikely pairing was born a deep friendship and the oil and gas drilling company that still bears their names.

Since that humble beginning, H&P has expanded drilling operations to meet the increasing demands of a complex and globalized industry, and in the process, established itself as a true innovator and world-class leader. H&P's commitment to its core values and beliefs has enabled the Company to grow and expand throughout the years, weathering numerous ups and downs—including economic storms such as the Great Depression, the 1980's Oil Bust and the 2009 financial crisis— and to emerge as the world's premier land drilling contractor. 


2014: John W. Lindsay becomes CEO of Helmerich & Payne.

2013: H&P celebrates the mobilization of its 300th FlexRig.

2012: H&P introduces the AC drive FlexRig5.  Ideally suited for long lateral drilling of multiple wells from a single location, this new design preserves the key performance features of H&P's flagship FlexRig3 and combines a bi-directional skidding system with equipment capacities suitable for well depths in excess of 25,000 feet.

2011: H&P becomes the largest land driller in the world in terms of market capitalization value.

2010: H&P celebrates the mobilization of its 100th FlexRig3, bringing the Company's total AC drive FlexRig count to over 175.  The Company also becomes the most active land driller in the U.S. land market.

2008: H&P launches the Center of Excellence (CoE).  The CoE is the around-the-clock monitoring, communications and performance center for H&P FlexRigs in all U.S. and non-U.S. locations.

2006: H&P manufactures its first AC drive FlexRig4, an adaptation of H&P's highly successful FlexRig3.  Designed for shallower depth ranges of 6,000 to 18,000 vertical feet, it allows the drilling of multiple wells from a single pad, which facilitates an environmentally friendly and efficient drilling operation.

2002: H&P introduces the first commercial AC drive land rig, the FlexRig3, revolutionizing the way rigs are built.  Combining innovative design with LEAN manufacturing techniques, these advanced technology rigs become the safest and most efficient in the market.

Also in 2002, H&P spins off its exploration and production unit, which merges with Key Production Company to form CimarexEnergy Company.  This enables H&P to focus on its core contractdrilling business.

2001: H&P introduces the FlexRig2 design, which includes joystick and touchscreen driller's controls with electronic driller enhancements and climate-controlled driller's cabin.

1998: H&P delivers the FlexRig1, a precursor to the current high-efficiency FlexRig family of solutions.

1996: H&P commences deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico, installing Rig 201 on the Mars TLP.

1994: H&P acquires Ensco's land drilling business, penetrating the medium depth U.S. land market.

1989: Hans Helmerich, son of Walt Helmerich, III, becomes CEO of H&P.

1976: After 40 years of production on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol building, H&P plugs the Francis #1 well.  Today, the Francis #1 derrick stands proudly at the original well site, serving as a monument to Oklahoma's number one industry.

1968: H&P mobilizes its first offshore rig called Spindletop.  The hull measured 352 feet long, 76 feet wide and 19 feet deep, allowing the rig to drill in water depths up to 600 feet deep.

1963: H&P is listed on "The Big Board" at the New York Stock Exchange.

1960: Walt Helmerich, III, becomes president of the Company.  He succeeds in crafting H&P's global operations and real estate dealings, expanding the Company to become the largest active provider of land drilling rigs in the U.S.

1959: H&P reassumes its corporate identity prior to 1944 with the dissolution of White Eagle Oil Company.

1958: H&P moves into international operations in several partnership arrangements with White Eagle.  These ventures include operations in North and South America.

1944: H&P reorganizes to form a partnership with White Eagle Oil, an exploration and production company.  Under its new corporate structure, H&P transitions solely to contract drilling and becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of White Eagle.

1939: Helmerich & Payne, Inc. becomes a Delaware corporation.

1930s: The financial impact of The Great Depression spreads throughout the United States—a barrel of oil that brought $1.43 in 1929 is priced at $0.10 in 1930.  During this crisis, H&P turns its attention to contract drilling.

1926: Walt Helmerich, II and Bill Payne relocate corporate headquarters to the Tuloma Building in Tulsa, OK, after achieving record profits from the Braman well. The Braman well was one of the first wildcats drilled by H&P, reaching 2,350 ft. and producing 5,000 barrels a day.

1920: Walt Helmerich, II and Bill Payne form a friendship and business partnership in South Bend, TX.