Drilling Rig Operators
Learn More About Oil & Gas Drilling Companies
There are more than 30 different drilling companies in North Dakota alone. You may work for any one of them, but if you become injured, our firm can help you file a claim against them. We have made it our goal to become familiar with these different companies so that we can better protect workers from poor and unsafe practices. This page was created so that you can familiarize yourself with them too.
There are a variety of different occupations at one site:
- Derrick hands
- Drilling crew employees
- Floor hands
- And other positions
You likely have designated managers and supervisors that make up your company's hierarchy. Those who are in positions above you are responsible for maintaining safety at the site. If you become the victim of an accident, you may believe the accident was somehow your fault. The truth is, even those who are partially at fault may not be the only negligent party. More often than not, the drilling companies themselves are responsible for a negligent or careless action that caused the accident.
If your life has been destroyed by a drilling accident, we want to help you rebuild. Contact Arnold & Itkin today.
The companies outlined below include:
- Baytex Energy Corporation
- Conoco Phillips (Burlington Resources)
- Continental Resources
- Denbury Resources
- Fidelity Exploration & Production Co
- Hunt Oil Company
- Marathon Oil
- Murex Petroleum Corporation
- Oasis Petroleum
- Petro-Hunt, LLC
- QEP Resources
- Slawson Exploration Company Inc.
- SM Energy
- WPX Energy
Baytex Energy Corporation
Baytex Energy Corp. is a Calgary, Alberta-based conventional oil and gas corporation. The company is engaged in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and has an emerging presence in the United States.
In 2007 and 2008, Baytex acquired significant land positions in the Powder River and Williston basins in North Dakota. Three years later, the company began focusing operations on the light oil resource play located in the Divide and Williams Counties of North Dakota. Baytex's production in the region comes primarily from the Bakken and Three Forks formations, using horizontal wells and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. The company has approximately 277,900 (116,000 net) acres of land in the region.
Conoco Phillips (Burlington Resources)
Burlington Resources began its journey in 1864 when the company retained extensive mineral rights and land holdings alongside the expansion of the Northern Pacific Railway Company (which later became the Burlington Northern Railroad Company). In 1981, Burlington Northern discovered oil on their property in the Williston Basin of North Dakota; almost three decades later, this discovery resulted in the East Lookout Butte and Cedar Hills South oil producing fields.
As the company quickly expanded, Burlington Resources was founded in 1987 as a holding company for all of Burlington Northern's non-railroad assets. By 1993, Burlington resources had sold off non-oil related assets, and Meridian Oil renamed itself Burlington Resources. In the last decade, Burlington focused on procuring and developing North American natural gas resources, while expanding into international operations and continuing to increase production in its Williston Basin holding.
In March of 2006, ConocoPhillips acquired Burlington Resources and continues to manage the company's assets under the Burlington name. Now, ConocoPhillips is an international oil and gas giant, producing gas from North America, the Middle East, the Arctic and beyond. Production streams include light and heavy oil, oil sands, natural gas liquids, natural gas, shale gas and oil, coalbed methane and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Continental Resources was founded in 1967, focusing on crude oil production since the 1980s. Continental is one of the top 10 producers of liquid petroleum in the U.S. and is the largest leaseholder in the Bakken oil play of North Dakota and Montana. Based in Oklahoma City, the company also has a leading presence in the Anadarko Woodford Play of Oklahoma and the Red River Units Play of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.
Continental employs three main methods of oil and gas retrieval:
- Eco-pad drilling is a technique where four wells can be drilled from a single pad. The approach allows for the development of two separate formations on two separate spacing units at the same time, allowing a greater harvest of reservoir resources with a reduced environmental impact on the surface of the land.
- Horizontal drilling is a method of oil and gas retrieval designed to give access to resources that were previously not economically worthwhile to tap. Horizontal drilling allows a well to be drilled from the surface to a subsurface location just above a target oil or gas reserve before deviating to intersect the reservoir at its entry point at a near horizontal incline.
- Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process which inserts fluids under high pressure into underground wells to create cracks in deep underground rock formations. Those cracks allow oil and gas to reach the surface with greater ease.
Denbury Resources Inc. is a growing independent oil and gas company. Denbury is currently the largest oil and natural gas producer in both Mississippi and Montana, owns the largest reserves of carbon dioxide (CO2) used for tertiary oil recovery east of the Mississippi River, and holds significant operating acreage in the Rocky Mountain and Gulf Coast regions. The Company's goal is to engage in a combination of exploitation, drilling, and proven engineering extraction practices, with its most significant emphasis being on CO2 tertiary recovery operations.
Enerplus, founded in 1986, is a North American energy producer with strong oil and gas assets in Canada and the U.S. Enerplus is involved in exploiting tight oil, crude oil watersheds, shale gas, and liquids-rich natural gas as well as more conventional resources.
In the U.S., Enerplus focuses on growth opportunities in the Bakken/Three Forks resource plays of North Dakota and the Marcellus Shale of northern Pennsylvania. In Canada, Enerplus focuses on the liquids-rich Depp Basin area of British Columbia and Alberta, as well as concentrating on oil production throughout the Sedimentary Basin of Western Canada. In North Dakota alone, Enerplus specifically holds 75,000 net acres of land in the Bakken/Three Forks play. Operations there focus on tight oil; in fact, Enerplus' tight oil resources in the region account for 26% of the company's probable reserves, in addition to providing 18% of Enerplus' daily production.
Fidelity Exploration & Production Company
Fidelity Exploration & Production, based in Denver, Colorado, is involved in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas resources. Fidelity's activities include the acquisition of producing properties and leaseholds with potential development opportunities, exploratory drilling, and the operation and development of oil and natural gas production properties.
Fidelity's business is focused in the Rocky Mountain region and Mid-Continent/Gulf states. Fidelity's main focus is in North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Colorado. Fidelity owns non-operated oil and gas interests and undeveloped acreage in this region.
Fidelity operates in:
- Bakken and Three Forks areas in North Dakota and Montana
- Big Horn Basin of Wyoming
- Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming
- Paradox Basin of Utah
- Baker Field in southeastern Montana and southwestern North Dakota
- Bowdoin area in north-central Montana
- Heath Shale area in northeastern Montana
- Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming
- Niobrara area in southeastern Wyoming
Hunt Oil Company
Hunt Oil Company, founded in 1934, is a privately-owned company that engages in oil and gas exploration and production activities in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Hunt also focuses on the construction and operation of liquefied natural gas projects in Yemen and Peru. While Hunt began its operations in East Texas, the company has spread across the country.
Hunt is specifically interested in exploring and developing new, unconventional oil and gas resources. They do so by engaging in practices such as horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and advanced seismic techniques. Hunt maintains a significant presence in the Marcellus play in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the Eagle Ford Play in South Texas and the Bakken Play in North Dakota.
Marathon Oil is an independent oil exploration and production company, founded in Ohio in 1887. Formerly Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, the company split into two independent operations, Marathon Oil and Marathon Petroleum Company in 2005. Marathon engages in exploration and production projects all over the world and the U.S. At home, Marathon's operations are in Alaska, Texas, North Dakota, and elsewhere.
North Dakota's Bakken Shale is central to Marathon's unconventional resource portfolio; they began drilling in the region in 2006. In 2011, production from the Bakken Shale resulted in a 21% growth of Marathon's total liquid hydrocarbon sales, and an additional 2% growth in the company's overall U.S. sales of natural gas. Marathon holds approximately 416,000 net acres in North Dakota, with a working interest of almost 80% in areas of operated assets. Marathon uses automated rigs to reduce well costs and improve safety and energy efficiency.
Murex Petroleum Corporation
Murex Petroleum Corporation is engaged in the acquisition, development, and operation of oil and gas properties in North America. Since its 1996 incorporation, Murex has become the 5th largest operator in South Dakota and the 25th largest operator in the Rocky Mountain Region.
Murex also controls over 34,000 net mineral acres through affiliated companies, including Linda Petroleum Company, Missiana LLC, Missilinda of Canada, Williston Projects Inc., and Mono Corporation with holdings in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Murex currently operates 170 wells in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, and is continuing with a horizontal drilling program in the Bakken play on the Nesson Anticline in Williams County, North Dakota.
Oasis Petroleum is an independent company focused on acquiring and developing unconventional oil and natural gas resources. Oasis engages in both exploration and production activities. Oasis currently has acquired 307,000 net leasehold acres in the Williston Basin in North Dakota, mainly in West Williston, East Nesson, and Sanish. Oasis acquisitions in the region first began in 2007 and culminated in late 2010.
Oasis engages in longer lateral drilling practices and tightly spaced fracking stimulation stages to increase production rates and recover the maximum amount of hydrocarbons in each well. Oasis plans to strengthen its position by acquiring additional acreage and producing assets.
Petro-Hunt, L.L.C. is a privately-held independent oil and gas company based in Dallas, Texas. Petro-Hunt's primary focus is on the exploration and production of oil and gas worldwide. The company was founded in the 1920s in El Dorado, Arkansas, and later played an active role in developing the East Texas Oil Field. Today, Petro-Hunt is one of the largest privately-held companies in the world and remains active in the onshore and offshore sectors of the energy industry worldwide.
The company is involved in drilling shallow oil and gas wells as well as deep onshore and offshore wells, involving technologically and environmentally challenging conditions of all sorts. Petro-Hunt's history of drilling has included deviated and horizontal wells. Petro-Hunt prides itself on being a "wildcat company," engaging high-risk in oil and gas exploration in areas that have not yet been commercially proven. The company's main operations are in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, the Gulf Coast, Wyoming and the Williston Basin area of North Dakota.
QEP Resources is an independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company based in Denver, Colorado. The company's operations are focused in the Rocky Mountain and Midcontinent regions of the United States. QEP also gathers, compresses, treats, and processes natural gas. QEP's domestic operations are focused in Texas, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and North Dakota. In North Dakota, QEP holds 90,000 net acres.
Slawson Exploration Company Inc.
Slawson Exploration Company Inc., founded in 1957, is a privately-owned oil and gas exploration company. Since its beginnings, Slawson has drilled over 3,500 oil and gas wells in 10 states. Slawson prides itself on being at the forefront of drilling innovations—from 2D Seis/Strat operations in the early 80s to widespread fracking for hydrocarbon harvesting in present-day resource plays throughout the Rocky Mountains.
Slawson currently operates regional exploration in California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, the Gulf of Mexico, South Texas and Kansas. Slawson strives to engage in aggressive exploration while using risk-reduction technology to exploit tested, prolific resources deposits.
With roots dating back to the early 1900s, Denver-based SM Energy Company today is an independent energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in onshore North America.
The company operates in four core areas in the United States:
- Rocky Mountain
- The Permian Basin
- South Texas & Gulf Coast
SM Energy has been active in the Rockies since the early 1990s; the company solidified its position in the region with the 1999 acquisition of Nance Petroleum. SM has approximately 200,000 net acres in the Williston Basin but puts more focus on operations in the oil-producing formations of the Basin's North Dakota portion, the Bakken and Three Forks plays, where the company has approximately 87,000 net acres.
WPX Energy is a publicly-traded natural gas and oil exploration and production company founded in 1983 when Williams E&P acquired Northwest Pipeline's San Juan Basin properties. Since then, the company has worked to build a geographically-diverse portfolio of natural gas liquids (NGL), natural gas and oil through development and acquisition strategies. WPX has operations in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Texas, Argentina, and Colombia. WPX focuses on producing oil, natural gas, and NGL from non-conventional resources like tight-sands and shale formations; the company also focuses on coal-bed methane reserves. WPX has helped develop over 7000 new natural gas wells in the U.S. regions in which it operates. In North Dakota, WPX owns leaseholder positions of about 85,000 net acres in the Williston Basin, primarily located in the Bakken Shale.
Drilling Rig Operator FAQ
How many drilling rigs are there in the U.S?
As of June 2020, there were 189 active oil and gas rigs in the United States. This is a significant decrease from the approximately 1,000 active rigs in 2019, because of the oil crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Oil and gas companies across the country have had to lay off thousands of workers and halt production on hundreds of rigs to offset drastic drops in global fuel demand.
What responsibilities do drilling companies have to keep workers safe?
Oil and gas companies are obligated to comply with safety standards that protect workers and the environment from potentially catastrophic accidents, explosions, and spills. This includes providing proper safety gear, monitoring and repairing equipment, replacing aging equipment—and more. Pushing for unrealistic production goals and delaying or avoiding safety inspections and shutdowns will put every worker at risk. If your employer cut corners or acted wrongfully in any way whatsoever, we can work to expose this and help you see justice served.
How do I know if I have a case against a drilling company?
If you were injured while working as a derrick hand, drilling operator, floor hand, or any crew member on a drilling rig, you could have a case against the company you work for, or a third party. The first step will be to determine what caused your accident. If your employer overlooked safety standards or did anything to jeopardize your well-being, they could be held to blame. Drilling companies should never put profits over the safety of their workers, but it happens time and again. We at Arnold & Itkin are there to hold them responsible when they do.
To find out more about your rights after a drilling rig accident or injury, call our team at Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629 for a free, private consultation. We're here to listen and help.