Weatherford International can weather the natural and economic storms that affect the oil and gas market. The company, which is domiciled in Switzerland but operationally based in Houston, supplies a wide range of equipment and services used in the oil and gas drilling industry, and operates in 100 countries. Weatherford provides well installation and completion systems, equipment rental, and fishing services (removing debris from wells). It provides pipeline services and oil recovery and hydraulic lift and electric submersible pumps to the oil and gas industry. The company also offers contract land drilling services.
Operating in a volatile market, Weatherford has strengthened its broad base of product offerings through acquisitions and geographic expansion. Its subsidiaries include Scotland-based Petroline Wellsystems (provider of completion products), Canada-based Alpine Oil Services (under-balanced drilling equipment), and UK company Orwell (oil field services). The company has also created UK-based WellServ, a full-services well intervention unit.
In 2008 Weatherford sold its oil and gas development and production business to raise cash to invest in its core oil field services businesses. To that end, the company in 2008 acquired US-based International Logging, a provider of surface logging, formation evaluation, and drilling related services. It also bought the oilfield services unit of TNK-BP for about $500 million in stock in 2009, giving it access to former Soviet markets.
Seeking the most favorable financial business location (in terms of taxes) for its registered office, in 2009 Weatherford shifted its domicile from Bermuda to Switzerland.
Bouncing back from the global recession, which saw low commodity prices and decreased demand for oil and gas activities in 2009, the company posted a major jump in revenues and income in 2010. The financial improvement was driven primarily by higher prices and much stronger oil and gas exploration and production activities in the North American market. – less