Weatherford International

Traded as NYSE: WFT
Industry Oilfield services & equipment
Founded 1940s
Headquarters Switzerland (incorporation)
Key people
Chairman & CEO: Bernard Duroc-Danner
Products Diversified Oilfield Services
Revenue Increase$12.99 billion USD (2011) NYSE: WFT
Increase$1.32 billion USD (2011)
Increase $198.5 million USD (2011)
Number of employees
30,000 (2016), 61,000 (2011) [1]

Weatherford 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 Switzerland, Weatherford operates in more than 100 countries across the globe and employs more than 60,000 people.[2]


The company was founded in 1941 in Weatherford, Texas as the Weatherford Spring Company by Jesse E. Hall Sr.[3][4] 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.[5] From its inception, the company pioneered an innovative technique and equipment for the cementing of cased-hole oil wells.[5] Originally marketed to U.S. well owners, Weatherford drilling and casing equipment was soon being used in the oil fields of Venezuela by the Gulf Oil Company.[5]

In 1972, the separate company of Energy Ventures, Inc. was founded as an offshore gas and oil exploration and production company.[6] In 1987, Energy Ventures was liquidated and re-established, and by 1990, had acquired Grant Oil Country Tubular Company.[7]

In 1991, Weatherford acquired Petroleum Equipment Tools Company (PETCO).[7] Weatherford and HOMCO later merged operations to create Weatherford Services, the largest oil fishing/rental company in the world. In 1995, Weatherford merged with Enterra, becoming Weatherford Enterra Inc.[7]

In May 1998 Energy Ventures, since renamed EVI, Inc. and Weatherford Enterra, Inc. merged, creating the current company now known as Weatherford.[7][8] 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 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[10][11][11] 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.[12][13]

In 2008, the company announced that it was shifting its place of incorporation from Bermuda to Switzerland.[14] 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.[15]

In May 2010, Weatherford's Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, facility accidentally released a cloud of ammonium persulfate that resulted in the evacuation of 500 workers from the surrounding industrial park.[16] In April 2014, Weatherford announced that its board of directors approved the relocation of its legal domicile to Ireland from Switzerland. The company will continue to maintain its operational office in Houston, Texas. [17]

Company focus

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 precommissioning, commissioning operations, and one of the world's most diverse fleets of inline inspection tools.[18][19]

Company Layoffs

Since 2010 the company has been on an layoff spree. The world economy is changing. The major oil suppliers group has been dropping oil prices. The renewable energy such as solar and wind are getting cheaper. America had a lot of shale oil reserves which are sufficient to fulfill its domestic oil consumption. The major oil supplier groups are trying to retain their oil market internationally. This is beneficial for the consumers of oil including USA and India. Weatherford is suffering as global number of new drilling of oil wells is dropping. The company is surviving by dropping expenses and layoffs to the tune of 30000 employees. The layoffs are done across all verticles and at all levels. As such Vice Presidents, managers, engineers, officers, field workers are layed off. Many of these loyal employees have taken alternate profession, or became consultants. Some have taken retirement. The company also sold many of its industrial units such as chemical group and the Wellhead group.

See also


  1. Company Background
  2. Weatherford Annual Report
  3. Riversand Company, Customers. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  4. Federal Court Of Appeals, Jesse E. Hall, Sr., and Rhoda O. Hall, Petitioners v. Commissioner Of Internal Revenue, Respondent, 294 F.2d 82 (1961)
  5. 1 2 3 Hall v. Commissioner Of Internal Revenue, 294 F.2d 82 (1961)
  6., Weatherford International: Company History. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  7. 1 2 3 4, Weatherford International: Company History
  8. "Weatherford Overview." Weatherford International. June 6, 2002. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  9. Walt, Vivienne, A Texas Company In Sudan, CNN Fortune, 25 July 2007.
  10. 1 2 Walt, Vivienne, A Texas Company In Sudan, 25 July 2007.
  11. 1 2 Walt, Vivienne (2007-09-12). "U.S. oil firm pulls out of Sudan". CNN; Fortune 14 September 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  12. Laird, Kerry, Weatherford Ending Operations In Iran, Cuba, Syria, Sudan With Loss,, 18 March 2008.
  13. Walt, Vivienne, Weatherford makes amends in Sudan, Fortune, 14 May 2008.
  14. "Weatherford planning to relocate base to Switzerland." Houston Business Journal. Friday December 12, 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  15. Anonymous, Field-tested Power Tong Handles All Sizes Of Casing, Drillpipe, Tubing, Offshore, 1 April 2008.
  16. "Hazmat Called To Leetsdale Chemical Spill". WTAE-TV Pittsburgh. May 27, 2010. Retrieved on November 17, 2015.
  17. Eaton, Collin. "Weatherford moving to Ireland as Swiss executive pay rules change". Fuel Fix. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  18. Weatherford International Ltd., Company Focus. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  19. Weatherford International Ltd., Pipeline Specialty Services: Production - Precommissioning And Commissioning. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
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