Patterson-UTI Energy's pattern of activity is to drill for oil and gas. The company, which provides onshore contract drilling for oil and natural gas producers, operates more than 350 rigs and a fleet of support vehicles (about 320 trucks and 400 trailers.) It has the second-largest land-based drilling fleet in North America, behind that of Nabors Industries. Patterson-UTI complements its contract drilling business in Canada and across the US (Patterson-UTI Drilling) by providing pressure pumping services for oil and natural gas operators, primarily in Texas and the Appalachian Basin. In 2010 Patterson-UTI's marketable drilling rigs reported depth capabilities ranging from 5,000 ft. to 25,000 ft.
The global recession resulted in a slump in demand for oil rigs and services, hurting Patterson-UTI Energy's revenues in 2009. However, the rebounding economy, higher commodity prices, and increased demand for oil and gas exploration and production activities in the US sharply lifted the company's revenues and income in 2010.
In 2010 Patterson-UTI Energy acquired pressure pumping and wireline assets from subsidiaries of Key Energy Services for $238 million. The deal expanded Patterson-UTI's pressure-pumping presence to the Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, and Permian Basin region.
Streamlining its operations, in 2010 the company exited the drilling and completion fluids business, selling its loss-making Ambar Lone Star unit to National Oilwell Varco for $48 million. In 2011 it sold its electric wireline subsidiary, Universal Wireline, to Gray Wireline Services for $25.5 million.
To raise cash, in 2012 Patterson-UTI Energy sold its flowback operations to TETRA Technologies for $42.5 million.
The company had operated an exploration and production business for several years, but decided in 2007 to cease the active management of the development, exploration, acquisition and production of oil and natural gas, in order to focus on its core drilling business. It does, however, retain working interests in oil and gas properties primarily in New Mexico and Texas.
Patterson-UTI was formed in 2001 when the former Patterson Energy bought UTI Energy. The company grew in the early 2000s through an aggressive acquisition strategy. – less