Top 10 drilling companies

Updated April 17, 2017

Drilling companies obtain the most accurate data and graphic representation of the geologic structure beneath the earth's surface through seismic "imaging," which is used for conducting on and offshore oil and gas explorations. Seismic imaging helps to determine the most promising "targets" for oil and gas extraction. In addition to conducting land and sea explorations, through ongoing research and development, drilling companies develop sophisticated and innovative technology to improve oil and gas extraction techniques.


Based in Switzerland, Transocean is the world's largest offshore drilling company, and specialises in "ultra-deep water" and "harsh-environment" drilling. It was founded in 1954, and its technologically advanced fleet and equipment made it the first company to conduct year-round drilling and exploration.

Chemin de Blandonnet 2 CH-1214 Vernier Switzerland +41-22-930-9000

Diamond Offshore

Diamond Offshore provides drilling services to global energy industries, particularly oil companies. The Texas-based company was founded in New Orleans in 1953, and specialises in offshore drilling in regions like the North Sea and Gulf of Alaska. The company employs around 5000 employees worldwide, and has three regional offices in Australia, Brazil and Scotland.

Houston Office 15415 Katy Freeway, Suite 100 Houston, Texas 77094-1810 281-492-5300

Noble Drilling

Noble Drilling is one of the largest offshore drilling companies in the world, and has been leading the industry in deepwater projects since 1921. The company celebrated its 88th anniversary in 2009. Noble's ultra-deep-water project in the Gulf of Mexico, the "Noble Danny Adkins," operates in water depths of up to 35,000 feet.

13135 South Dairy Ashford, Suite 800 Sugar Land, TX 77478 281-276-6100


Based in Norway, Seadrill acquired Smedvic drilling in 1915, and is a global drilling contractor that is growing rapidly. The company has 40 offshore drilling sites, and has had over 30 years of experience in harsh-environment drilling in Northern Europe. Seadrill operates in West Africa, Southeast Asia, and in North and South America.

Lokkeveien 111 P.O. Box 110 4001 Stavanger Norway +47-51-30-90-00

Nabors Industries

Since 1987, Nabors has been specialising in oil, gas and geothermal well development, and is the world's largest land-drilling contractor. Nabors has acquired sophisticated technology to conduct "ultra-deep" capacity drilling. In North America, the company owns roughly 528 drilling locations, and drills in 30 countries internationally.

Mintflower Place 8 Par-La-Ville Road Hamilton HM08 Bermuda +441-292-1510


Based in Texas, Ensco has been a leading ultra-deep-water drilling contractor to the petroleum industry since 1987. The company owns and operates 51 drilling rigs worldwide in places like Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. In 2008, Ensco was recognised by Forbes Magazine as being one of the "world's fastest growing companies."

500 North Akard Street Suite 4300 Dallas, TX 75201-3331 214-397-3000

Pride International

Pride International's speciality in deepwater "high specification drilling solutions" makes it one of the world's leading companies that is rapidly expanding its global presence. The company is based in Houston, Texas, and is a worldwide contractor to the oil and gas industry.

5847 San Felipe Street Suite 3300 Houston, TX 77057 713-789-1430


Founded in 1962, Furgo is based in the Netherlands, and specialises in land and sea seismic imaging. The company provides technical support and contracts to its clients in the areas of exploration, production, and the transportation of oil and gas.

Veurse Achterweg 10 2264 SG Leidschendam Netherlands +31-070-311-1422

Helmerich & Payne

Since 1920, Helmerich and Payne has been engaged in land and offshore drilling contracts in oil and natural gas explorations worldwide. The company's headquarters is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of its main international offshore rigs is in the Gulf of Mexico.

1437 South Boulder Ave. Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119 918-742-5531

CGG Veritas

CGG Veritas has been providing geophysical (or seismic) explorations since the 1930s. Based in France, the company uses a highly advanced seismic imaging technique called 4D to explore oil and gas reserves on land and in deep and shallow water.

Tour Maine-Montparnasse 33, Avenue du Maine B.P. 191 75755 Paris Cedex 15 FRANCE +33-1-64-47-45-00

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Selam Nuri has been writing academic articles and working across the curriculum since 2001. She has been published online at various websites and earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology in 2006 from the City University of New York.