Oil Rig Companies: Drilling Rig Operators & other Entities Operating Offshore

Numerous oil rig companies operate in the Gulf of Mexico. The following alphabetical list provides information on drilling rig operators in the Gulf and other entities operating offshore.

Anadarko Petroleum Company

APC, headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, is one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas companies in the world. APC is a prominent deepwater explorer and producer not only in the Gulf of Mexico but also in countries throughout the world, including Algeria, Brazil, China, Indonesia, and New Zealand.

Atwood Oceanics

Atwood Oceanics is headquartered in Houston, TX and is an international offshore drilling company. Atwood Oceanics Pacific Limited and similar subsidiaries of Atwood Oceanics comprise the Atwood Group. Since beginning its operations in 1970, the Atwood Group has conducted offshore drilling activities in locations across the globe including the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Australia, Southeast Asia, China, India, Central and South America, and the US Gulf of Mexico.

Atwood Oceanics currently owns 9 mobile offshore drilling units. These include semisubmersible rigs, jack-up drilling rigs, and submersible drilling units. The Atwood Group also owns a fifty percent interest in a platform rig with Helmerich & Payne, Inc.

BP

BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies. Over several decades, BP has grown from being a locally owned British company into a global energy producer. It now employs more than 80,000 workers and provides energy to dozens of countries. Currently, BP is involved in exploration and production projects in more than 25 countries. Its largest division is BP America, which is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the United States and is headquartered in Houston, TX.

BP’s responsibility for several major environmental and safety incidents has left the company open to serious criticism.

In March 2005, a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas exploded killing 15 workers and injuring thousands. Subsequent investigations revealed that BP had been ignoring its own safety protocols regarding the operation of the ISOM unit and had been powering it with a disabled warning system. As a result, BP was fined more than $50 million (the largest fine in history) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) after pleading guilty to federal charges.

Although the company promised to straighten up, it continued to cut corners. One year later, a large hole was discovered in BP’s Prudhoe Bay, Alaska pipeline. By the time of its discovery, this hole had allowed an estimated 4,800 barrels of oil to leak into the ground. Although BP was warned as early as 2002 to inspect the pipeline, it still had failed to do so by 2006, the year the leak was discovered. BP was fined $12 million as a result for violating the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

Again, on 20 April 2010, the semi-submersible drilling rig known as the Deepwater Horizon exploded into flames after a blowout. The rig ultimately sank two days later, killing 11 people and injuring dozens. This blowout in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in an uncapped oil well spewing petroleum nearly one mile beneath the surface of the sea. BP has agreed to create a $20 billion response fund in order to pay claims related to the leak.

Chevron

Chevron Corporation is a multinational energy corporation headquartered in San Ramon, California. The company currently maintains operations in more than 180 countries. Chevron is involved in every facet of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration, production, refining, marketing and transport; chemical manufacturing and sales; and power generation.

Despite its success, Chevron has been at the center of several major controversies over the years. For example, while involved in a project in Richmond, California in 1998, Chevron generated more than 11 million pounds of toxic waste and caused at least 300 accidents. As a result, Chevron’s Richmond refineries were fined well over $500,000 for illegally bypassing waste water treatments and failing to notify the public about toxic releases.

Chevron’s exploration and production operations in Africa have also been criticized as environmentally dangerous. In 2002, Angola became the first African country to fine a major multinational corporation operating within its borders, when it demanded over $2 million in compensation for oil spills and other damage caused by Chevron.

Cobalt International Energy LP

Cobalt International Energy, LP, is a private oil and gas exploration and production company founded in 2005 that is primarily active in the Gulf of Mexico and in West Africa. Cobalt focuses on searching for oil pockets encased beneath salt layers, which until recently tended to go largely untapped by producers in the industry.

Coastal Drilling

Coastal Drilling operates inland barge rigs throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The company, based in New Iberia, Louisiana, was founded in 2001.

ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips Company, headquartered in Houston, Texas, was created with the merger of Conoco Inc. and the Phillips Petroleum Company that took place in 2002. ConocoPhillips is currently the third largest private sector energy corporation in the world with operations in more than 30 countries and nearly 30,000 employees across the globe. The company focuses its efforts on exploration, production, marketing, natural gas gathering and processing.

The company currently has 19 active refineries located around the world.

Diamond Offshore – leading deepwater offshore subsea well drilling contractor.

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a deepwater drilling contractor that currently operates one of the largest fleets of offshore drilling units in the world. The company's fleet is diverse and consists of 32 semisubmersibles, 13 jack-up rigs and one dynamically-positioned drillship, with 2 more on order. Diamond Offshore provides contract drilling services to the global energy industry. The company operates primarily in the North Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Straits of Magellan, the South China Sea and Australia's Bass Strait. Diamond Offshore currently employs more than 5000 crewmembers globally.

Ensco

Ensco is headquartered in Dallas, TX, and specializes in offshore oil and gas drilling using jack-up rigs. The company owns a total of 45 offshore rigs, including 40 jack-ups, four semisubmersibles and one barge rig. Although the company primarily operates in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand, Ensco also has drilling units present in Europe, Africa, and North and South America. In 2011 the company agreed to acquire fellow offshore driller Pride International for $7.3 billion.

ExxonMobile

ExxonMobile is considered the largest oil, natural gas and petroleum products company in the world. The company operates a large network of refineries, marine vessels, pipelines, and distribution centers that provide transportation fuels, lubricants and other products to customers worldwide.

Haliburton

Halliburton is the second largest oilfield services corporation in the world, operating in more than 70 countries. The company, through its numerous subsidiaries, affiliates and divisions employs over 50,000 people globally. Haliburton is headquartered in Houston, TX with offices in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Hercules Offshore

Hercules Offshore, headquartered in Houston, Texas, was founded in 2004. The company specializes in offshore contract drilling, liftboat and inland barge services worldwide. Hercules’ fleet currently consists of 30 jack-ups, 17 barge rigs, one platform, a number of support vessels, and more than 60 lifeboats. In fact, Hercules’ fleet of jack-up rigs is the largest in the Gulf of Mexico and the fourth largest in the world.

Maersk Drilling

Maersk Drilling, originally known as Maersk Contractors, was established in 1972 and provides drilling services to oil companies. Maersk’s fleet consists of numerous semi-submersibles, jack-up rigs and drilling barges. The company operates in locations around the world, including, Australia, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Marathon Oil Corporation

Marathon Oil Corporation is an international energy company that specializes in exploration and production, oil sands mining, as well as refining, marketing and transportation. Marathon, based in Houston, Texas, is a global entity with operations in the United States, Angola, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, IKR (Iraqi Kurdistan Region), Libya, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom. It is considered the fourth largest United States-based integrated oil company and the nation's fifth largest refiner.

Murphy Oil Corporation

Murphy Oil Corporation is an international corporation headquartered in El Dorado, Alaska. Its operations are focused largely on exploration and production, and refining and marketing. Murphy’s exploration and production extends into crude oil and natural gas production in the, Canada, Ecuador , Malaysia, the Republic of Congo, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Nabors Industries, Ltd.

Nabors Industries, Ltd. began operations in 1987 as a platform and land drilling provider facilitating exploration for and development of oil and natural gas.   Nabors is the largest land drilling contractor in the world with more than 600 land-based drilling rigs and close to 800 land service rigs.  Nabors also provides offshore drilling services, utilizing its fleet of over 70 rigs including offshore, barge and jack-up rigs, along with a wide assortment of other oilfield management, logistical and engineering services.  While initially operating only in North America, the company has expanded across the globe and now offers drilling services in Africa, the Far East, the Middle East and South America. 

Noble Energy, Inc.

Noble Energy, with its headquarters in Houston, Texas, is currently one of the largest offshore drilling contractors in the world. The company’s operations focus on the development of oil and natural gas.  Noble operates in numerous places around the globe including the Gulf of Mexico, the Far East, the Middle East, South America and West Africa. 

Oceaneering International

Oceaneering, founded in 1964, is a global provider of services and products to the offshore oil and gas industry. The company focuses heavily on deepwater applications. Oceaneering’s products and services include remotely operated vehicles (“ROV’s”), mobile offshore oil and gas production systems, custom subsea hardware for specific applications, manned diving, project management, subsea intervention services, non-destructive testing and inspections. The Company utilizes multiple trade names when servicing its oilfield clients including: Oceaneering International, Oceaneering Intervention Engineering, Oceaneering Grayloc, Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions, Oceaneering Rotator, and Oceaneering Inspection Services.

Parker Drilling Company

Parker Drilling provides drilling services, project management services as well as rental tools to facilitate drilling operations. Parker utilizes specialized rigs that can be transported by helicopter, allowing the company to drill in previously inaccessible locations such as deserts, mountainous regions and dense jungles. The company also uses barge rigs to allow work in water-laden transition zones like bays and marshes. Parker Drilling currently owns 28 land-based rigs and 13 barge rigs.

Petrobas America, Inc.

Petrobas America, Inc., founded in Brazil in 1953, is a multi-national energy company that specializes in deepwater and ultra-deepwater petroleum production. The company controls significant oil and energy assets in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America.

Pride International

Pride International is one of the world's largest offshore drilling companies focusing on deepwater and other high-specification drilling situations. The company operates globally with approximately 4,000 employees in 13 countries.

Rowan Companies, Inc.

Rowan Companies, Inc. provides contract drilling services worldwide. Rowan also owns and operates a manufacturing division that produces equipment for multiple industries including drilling, mining and timber. In 1955, the company designed and built the first ever jack-up drilling rig. Currently, Rowan operates 23 rigs.

SEACOR Marine

SEACOR Marine is an offshore petroleum explorer and producer. The company operates a fleet of marine support vessels. SEACOR maintains vessels throughout the world including in the Gulf of Mexico, Latin America, the Middle East, the North Sea, Southeast Asia and West Africa.

Seahawk

Seahawk Drilling provides jack-up drilling services to independent oil and gas producers and even drilling service providers. Currently, the company owns and operates 20 jack-up rigs located along the Gulf of Mexico. Seahawk provide typically operates in water depths of up to 300 feet and drills at depths of up to 25,000 feet.

Schlumberger Limited

Schlumberger Limited was founded in 1926 in France as an oil and gas services firm. The company supports the petroleum industry in all stages of production including seismic acquisition and processing, well testing, well cementing and stimulation, well completions and consulting, and software and information management. Schlumberger is also heavily involved in the groundwater extractionas well as the carbon capture and storage industries.

Scorpion Offshore, Inc.

Scorpion Offshore, Inc. is an international drilling rig operator founded on April 22, 2005. The company has its main offices located in Houston, Texas. Scorpion recently acquired 7 new offshore jack-up rigs.

Shell

Shell is one of the world’s largest petroleum and petrochemical companies with nearly 101,000 employees in over 90 countries and territories. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Shell is owned by parent company Royal Dutch Shell, PLC.

Statoil

Statoil is a Norwegian oil and natural gas producer, formed following a merger in 2007. The company focuses the majority of its operations in the North Sea.

Stena Drilling

Stena Drilling is one of the world's largest independent drilling contractors. Currently, the company operates in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia, South East Asia, the Mediterranean, South America and Africa.

Transocean

Transocean is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor. With its fleet of 139 mobile offshore drilling units, the company primarily focuses on finding and developing oil and natural gas reserves. Founded in the 1970’s as a whaling company, Tranocean expanded through a series of mergers and now has over 25,000 employees.

Maritime Injury Accidents

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