Weatherford International Oil Field Services Ltd
is one of the largest international oil and natural gas service companies. The company provides products and services for drilling, evaluation, completion, production and intervention of oil and natural gas wells, along with pipeline construction and commissioning. Headquartered in Houston and incorporated in Switzerland, Weatherford currently operates in more than 100 countries across
the globe and employ more than 50,000 people. The company has a substantial presence in the Middle East.
The company was founded in 1941 in Weatherford, Texas
Weatherford is a city in Parker County, Texas, United States, and a western suburb of Fort Worth. The population was 19,000 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Parker County and is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.-Geography:...
as the Weatherford Spring Company by Jesse E. Hall Sr. In 1948, the company was renamed Weatherford Oil Tool Company (WOTCO) with ownership by Jesse Hall, his son, Elmer, James E. Berry, and Juan A. Perea. From its inception, the company pioneered an innovative technique and equipment for the cementing of cased-hole oil wells. Originally marketed to U.S. well owners, Weatherford drilling and casing equipment was soon being used in the oil fields of Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...
by the Gulf Oil Company.
In 1972, the separate company of Energy Ventures, Inc. was founded as an offshore gas and oil exploration and production company. In 1987, Energy Ventures was liquidated and re-established, and by 1990, had acquired Grant Oil Country Tubular Company.
In 1991, Weatherford acquired Petroleum Equipment Tools Company (PETCO). Weatherford and HOMCO later merged operations to create Weatherford Services, the largest oil fishing/rental company in the world. In 1995, Weatherford International merged with Enterra, becoming Weatherford Enterra Inc.
In May 1998 Energy Ventures, since renamed EVI, Inc. and Weatherford Enterra, Inc. merged, creating the current company now known as Weatherford International. In the next two years, Weatherford added a number of well-organized brands to its expertise, including Dailey, Orwell, Energy Rentals, Whiting, Williams, BBL and ECD Northwest. Weatherford also created a stronger completion competence with the addition of well-known brands in the sector such as Petroline, Cardium, Nodeco, McAllister, Johnson Screens, Houston Well Screens, Arrow, and CIDRA.
In 2005, Weatherford acquired Precision Drilling
Precision Drilling Corporation is the largest drilling rig contractor in Canada, also providing oil field rental and supplies. Operations expanded from 3 drilling rigs in 1984 to over 240+ drilling rigs and worldwide operations -Business units:*Precision Drilling Ltd - contracting of drilling...
Corporation’s Precision Energy Services and International Contract Drilling divisions.
In July 2007, the company was featured in news media reports questioning operations of the company's foreign subsidiary, Weatherford Oil Tool Middle East, which had offices and equipment in the nation of Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...
. Since 1997, U.S. companies were forbidden by law to operate in Sudan, though foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies could still legally operate in that country if there was no involvement by the U.S. parent or any other U.S. person. Nevertheless, in response to media and investor criticism, the company announced that it would divest itself of any foreign subsidiary operations in countries sanctioned by the United States.
The next year, Weatherford withdrew from activities in Sudan and donated its in-country equipment as well as providing additional equipment, supplies, and funding to Thirst No More
, a humanitarian organization operating in Sudan.
In 2008, the company announced that it was shifting its place of incorporation from Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...
to Switzerland. That same year, Weatherford completed its acquisition of V-Tech International, a pioneer in the development of mechanical power tong systems in the North Sea to improve rig safety.
As an oil and natural gas drilling services company, Weatherford produces a variety of products and services for the oil and gas industry. These include drilling services, electronic well measurement and monitoring, completion, production, and evaluation products and services. In particular, the company has developed directional drilling services that can extend through miles of bedrock with great precision, and tubular running services that are used on almost half of the world’s deepwater drilling projects. The company has more sand screen systems installed worldwide than any other company, and production optimization systems in more than 100,000 wells around the world. Additionally, Weatherford is the industry’s only provider of all forms of artificial lift. Weatherford also offers intervention, completion, and decommissioning services for well owners, in addition to pipeline precommission, commissioning operations, and one of the worlds diverse fleets of inline inspection tools.