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Pandemic-caused crude price collapse causes drilling slowdown for Oklahoma company

TULSA — Dramatically lower drilling activity pushed Helmerich & Payne’s quarterly results into negative territory, the company reported Tuesday.

The firm, which owns and operates drilling rigs and provides related services to both North American and global customers, posted a net loss of about $45.6 million, or 43 cents per share, on operating revenues of about $317.4 million.

During the same quarter a year ago, it posted a net loss of about $154.7 million, or $1.42 per share, on operating revenues of about $688 million.

Officials tied the rig activity decline during the period to lower crude oil prices caused by the pandemic-induced reduction in demand for the product globally.

The company stated the utilization rate for its North American rigs during the quarter was 32%, compared to 62% the same quarter a year ago.

“The unprecedented decline in activity experienced during the quarter continues to reverberate throughout the industry and we expect that ramifications will be felt for several quarters to come,” stated company CEO John Lindsay as part of the earnings release. “The health and safety of our employees and customers remains our top priority, followed by maintaining our financial strength and flexibility.”

Lindsay said H&P acted decisively earlier this year to preserve its operational and financial integrity.

"The current state of the industry pointedly underscores a necessity for change and is providing opportunities to accelerate strategic objectives aimed at how we approach adding value and how that value is perceived by our customers,” Lindsay continued, noting the company continues to work on providing the best total package of drilling and related services that it can.

“Combining people, rigs and technology to deliver the best possible well that accomplishes our customer's operational goals while reducing their financial risk” is what the company aims to achieve, he stated.

On June 30, H&P's fleet included 262 land rigs in the U.S., 32 international land rigs and eight offshore platform rigs, officials said.

Jack Money

Jack Money has worked for The Oklahoman for more than 20 years. During that time, he has worked for the paper’s city, state, metro and business news desks, including serving for a while as an assistant city editor. Money has won state and regional... Read more ›