Helmerich & Payne, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively H&P) provide highly specialized services in a narrow segment of the very broad and always evolving energy sector.
Energy has always been essential to human life, but the forms of energy people have relied on have steadily evolved from the earliest of times. People have used energy from fire, horsepower, wind (ships, windmills, even sails on wheelbarrows in ancient China), water (current, tides and steam), solar (in many forms), geo-thermal, biomass, fossil fuels, nuclear (and perhaps fusion and other sources in the future).
As the world’s population steadily grew, the need to find and harness more concentrated forms of energy has steadily grown, making reliance on fossil fuels increasingly central. Over the last many decades (oil did not surpass coal as an energy source in the US until 1951) those responsible for making fossil fuels available to the rapidly expanding global population became more expert and more specialized. A “service sector” developed to supply the most scientific and technologically specialized needs of the oil and gas sector. H&P occupies part of this service sector.
H&P: What we do and don’t do
H&P designs, builds, and operates rigs that make drilling for oil and gas safer and more efficient. We are an important vendor for a number of oil and gas exploration and production companies, but we focus exclusively on the drilling segment of the oil and gas production value chain.
At the direction of the oil and gas exploration and production companies we work with, H&P drills oil and gas wells. The exploration and production companies determine if and when to extract those resources from the ground, following completion of the well.
Here is a summary of what we at H&P do and a second summary of things we do not do. We provide the second summary because we find it is often assumed that our operations overlap in ways they do not with the exploration and production, midstream and downstream parts of the oil and gas sector.
What We Do
- Make drilling for oil safer and more efficient
- Build and renovate drilling rigs at two industrial facilities in Texas and Oklahoma
- Oversee drilling operations on our rigs on customer sites
- Drill predominantly on-shore in the U.S. - 88% of rigs available for work are U.S. on-shore; U.S. onshore represented 80% of revenue in 2017 (vs Nabors, for example, with approximately 60% of 2017 revenue coming from international operations)
- Invest in technology - research and development expense totaled $12.0 million in fiscal 2017, $10.3 million in fiscal 2016, and $16.1 million in fiscal 2015
- Employ over 9,700 people, over 99% in full-time positions
- Provide full medical, dental and vision insurance plans for employees and their families; provide life insurance and long-term disability plans; provide health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts to help employees reduce taxes; offer an employee 401K plan; offer an educational assistance plan to help employees who want to continue their formal education
What We Don’t Do
- Hydraulic fracturing
- Buy, lease, prepare, manage or restore land on which rigs are located, including not having responsibility for the protection of wildlife or biodiversity of our customers’ properties
- Pump oil or gas from the ground
- Procure, transport or pump water underground, or treat or remove waste water from the site, or arrange for its disposal
- Assume responsibility for the prevention of fugitive releases or emissions associated with the oil and gas production process
- Engage in oil and gas transport, refining or storage
- Engage in downstream operations
Thus, while H&P plays a role helping our customers make overall production as safe and efficient as possible, many of the environmental and safety risks associated with the oil and gas sector fall outside of our operations and areas of responsibility. Our most critical responsibility is therefore the safety of our employees and the employees of our customers. But we cast a very wide net to make sure we consider all of the ways we can make the impact of our knowledge and operations positive.