Weatherford is one of the worlds largest multinational 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 35,000 people (2016). Weatherford International plc (NYSE: WFT) has been selected for inclusion in the Euronext Vigeo World 120 index, which is composed of the 120 most advanced companies in the European, North American and Asia Pacific Regions. The Company also maintained its inclusion in the Euronext Vigeo US 50 index. Inclusion in these indices is effective June 1, 2016.
The company was founded in 1941 in Weatherford, Texas as the Weatherford Spring Company by Jesse E. Hall Sr. 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. From its inception, the company pioneered an innovative technique and equipment for the cementing of cased-hole oil wells. 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.
In 1972, the separate company of Energy Ventures, Inc. was founded as an offshore gas and oil exploration and production company. In 1987, Energy Ventures was liquidated and re-established, and by 1990, had acquired Grant Oil Country Tubular Company.
In 1991, Weatherford acquired Petroleum Equipment Tools Company (PETCO). 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.
In May 1998 Energy Ventures, since renamed EVI, Inc. and Weatherford Enterra, Inc. merged, creating the current company now known as Weatherford. 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. 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. 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. 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.
In 2008, the company announced that it was shifting its place of incorporation from Bermuda to Switzerland. 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.
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. 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.
On November 9, 2016, Weatherford announced the departure of Bernard J. Duroc-Danner, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO. It also announced the appointment of Robert Rayne as Chairman of the Board and Krishna Shivram as Chief Executive Officer.
On March 6, 2017, Weatherford announced the appointment of Mark A. McCollum as President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Weatherford. In addition, the Company announced that Mr. William E. Macaulay has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.
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. 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.