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What Offshore Drilling Companies are Making the Most Money?

The Corporate Giants that Control the World’s Oil Production

Energy is one of the largest business sectors in the world. In the United States, oil companies such as John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company became notorious for their power and influence over the American economy. Today, Rockefeller’s name is synonymous with might and wealth in the business world.

Today, energy is a globalized business. Modern oil companies are often large, multinational corporations that drill for oil in the most dangerous waters and at the deepest depths man has ever reached. These are the top five offshore drilling companies, listed by their revenues in the first quarter of 2018.

#1: Schlumberger

Founded in 1926 by Conrad and Marcel Schlumberger in France, Schlumberger has grown exponentially since its earliest days. Today, the company employs more than 100,000 people and has operations in more than 85 countries. Its website claims it is the world’s largest oilfield services companies.

Schlumberger serves the petroleum industry’s needs with services such as formation evaluation, well testing, directional drilling, well cementing and stimulation, artificial lift, well completions, flow assurance and consulting and software information management. The company is on the Fortune Global 500 and reported revenues of $7.82 billion in Q1 2018.

#2: Baker Hughes

Baker Hughes offers a full suite of deep-water well services which includes drilling, production, and completion. The drilling company traces its roots to the early 1900s and has expanded to over 120 countries in its present form. Notably, General Electric bought 62.5 percent of the company in 2017 in a deal valued at $30 billion. The company is split into 3 divisions comprised of 12 subsidiaries and reported revenue of $5.4 billion in Q1.

#3: Fluor

Fluor Corporation is headquartered out of Irving, Texas and has operations across the globe. It was founded in 1912 by John Simon Fluor as a construction company focused on building oil refineries and pipelines. Today it has subsidiaries that provide engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and project management services to the oil industry. Fluor helped to develop some of the world’s major modern offshore infrastructures in Australia, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, and China. The company reported Q1 2018 revenues of $4.8 billion.

#4: Seadrill

Seadrill is a deepwater drilling contractor headquartered out of Bermuda and managed out of London. The company has experienced significant financial difficulty in recent years and filed for bankruptcy protection in September of 2017.

Despite its struggles through the years, Seadrill has continued to grow. Seadrill’s state-of-the-art fleet has kept the company afloat in the eyes of investors. Though it is struggling, it reported revenue of $577 million in Q2 of 2017.

(However, the company posted a contract backlog amounting to $3.1 billion.)

#5: Ensco

Ensco is British drilling contractor that operates offshore rigs around the world. Founded in 1975, the company has grown into the second-largest drilling company in the world. Ensco describes itself as an industry leader with some of the most technologically complex rigs in the world. The company asserts that it has the world’s largest offshore fleet. The company also boasts that it is responsible for producing some of the most complex wells throughout most of the world’s major drilling sites.

Though the company is currently headquartered in London, it was only moved there in 2010. Large portions of the company’s operations still occur in its original location: Houston, Texas. During the first part of 2018, Ensco reported revenues of $417 million.

#6: Noble

Noble Corporation PLC is an offshore drilling contractor with operations out of Sugar Land, Texas, and London, UK. Much like the rest of its top competitors, Noble maintains one of the most modern fleets of drilling rigs in the world. The company was founded in 1985 and owns a large fleet totaling 28 rigs.

Notably, 45 percent of Noble’s revenues are sourced from contracts with Royal Dutch Shell, 13.2 percent from Statoil, and 11.4 percent from Saudi Aramco. These numbers reveal that nearly 70 percent of Noble’s revenues are sourced from some of the world’s largest and most powerful oil companies. In Q1 of 2018, Noble reported revenues of $235.5 million.

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