Last year, OTC set an attendance record with nearly 110,000 O&G professionals from around the world; the most since 1982. More than 4,500 rigs were running that year, and by the mid 80’s, less than 600 rigs were turning right. Arguably the worst bust ever. To most in the space today, something they will only know of through the memories of the old-timers. However, if you haven’t had a chance to drive through Midland/Odessa, the picture above tells it all; dozens of brand new 1500HP AC drilling rigs standing tall, waiting for their chance to get in the mud.
Everyone has an opinion, but most drilling contractors agree that the days of mechanical rigs are behind us, at least here in the US, and in large part. SCR rigs have replaced most, and AC rigs, believe it or not, are still being built by the heavyweights in our industry, albeit at a slower roll. The cost corrections have been made, oil prices are climbing, and hundreds of the land rigs that have been stacked will be back to work before we know it, along with the ones that can actually run them. My prediction anyway.
But, I guess the smell from the blood in the streets travels East, because we’ve been fielding a plethora of calls and emails from MENA, Europe, and Asia from drilling companies who are curios to learn what they can buy on the cheap. And of course, an SCR rig is a major upgrade for a lot of these drillers, so needless to say, we’ve become quite popular. Prolific times, no doubt, and a day that I certainly will later reminisce with my children, should they decide to follow the steps of their father, and grandfather. I sure hope they do. I love this business.
So, what will be the last rig standing? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d bet big that it will be one whose life was long, hard, and at times lonely. Even rigs must succumb to the circle of life.
Hope to see you at OTC!
Henderson Rigs & Equipment is a Houston-based U.S. supplier of new and remanufactured drilling rigs and drilling equipment to domestic and international drilling contractors. In addition to our own new and remanufactured equipment, Henderson engages a large, Worldwide network of quality vendors, which allows us to locate virtually any piece of equipment used on a drilling rig.