Helmerich & Payne, Inc. ("H&P," which, together with its subsidiaries, is identified as the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our,” except where stated or the context requires otherwise) was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on February 3, 1940 and is successor to a business originally organized in 1920. We provide performance-driven drilling solutions and technologies that are intended to make hydrocarbon recovery safer and more economical for oil and gas exploration and production companies. We are an important partner for a number of oil and gas exploration and production companies, but we focus primarily on the drilling segment of the oil and gas production value chain. Our technology services focus on developing, promoting and commercializing technologies designed to improve the efficiency and accuracy of drilling operations, as well as wellbore quality and placement.
Our drilling services operations are organized into the following reportable operating business segments: North America Solutions, Offshore Gulf of Mexico and International Solutions. Our North America Solutions operations are primarily located in Texas, but also traditionally operate in other states, depending on demand. Such states include: Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Additionally, Offshore Gulf of Mexico operations are conducted in Louisiana and in U.S. federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and our International Solutions operations have rigs and/or services primarily located in five international locations: Argentina, Bahrain, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates ("U.A.E."), and Australia. Our operations in Australia commenced in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2023.
We also own and operate a limited number of commercial real estate properties located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our real estate investments include a shopping center containing approximately 365,000 leasable square feet and approximately 176 acres of undeveloped real estate. Our research and development endeavors include both internal development and external acquisition of developing technologies. Our wholly-owned captive insurance companies (the “Captives”) are primarily used to insure the deductibles for our workers’ compensation, general liability, automobile liability, rig property and a medical stop-loss program. The Company and the Captives maintain excess property and casualty reinsurance programs with third-party insurers in an effort to limit the financial impact of significant events covered under these programs. Our real estate operations, our incubator program for new research and development projects, and our wholly-owned captive insurance companies are included in "Other."
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The following map shows the number of available rigs by basin in our North America Solutions reportable segment as of September 30, 2023:
The following table sets forth certain information concerning our North America Solutions drilling rigs as of September 30, 2023:
NORTH AMERICA SOLUTIONS FLEET
Non Super-Spec FlexRig®2
|Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted|
(1)AC drive, minimum of 1,500 horsepower drawworks, minimum of 750,000 lbs. hookload rating, 7,500 psi mud circulating system, and multiple-well pad capability.
(2)AC drive, 1,500 horsepower drawworks, 500,000 or 750,000 lbs. hookload rating, 5,000 or 7,500 psi mud circulating system, may or may not have multiple-well pad capability.
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The following table sets forth certain information concerning our Offshore Gulf of Mexico drilling rigs as of September 30, 2023:
OFFSHORE GULF OF MEXICO FLEET
|Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted|
|Gulf of Mexico||1||1||3||3||4||4|
(1)Deep water rigs operate on floating facilities and shallow water rigs operate on fixed facilities.
(2)Rigs are idle, stacked on land and not in state waters.
The following table sets forth certain information concerning our International Solutions drilling rigs as of September 30, 2023:
INTERNATIONAL SOLUTIONS FLEET
AC (FlexRig® 3)1
AC (FlexRig® 4)2
|Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted||Total Available||Rigs Contracted|
|United Arab Emirates||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||1||—|
(1)The FlexRig® 3 is equipped with an AC drive, 1,500 horsepower drawworks, and a 750,000 lb. hookload rating. It can be equipped with an optional skid or walking system, third mud pump, and 7,500 psi high pressure mud system. Nine rigs in Argentina are equipped with skid systems, a third mud pump and 7,500 psi high pressure mud systems.
(2)The FlexRig® 4 model has a small footprint and is designed to be highly mobile. The rig is equipped with a 300,000 lb. mast, 400HP top drive and two mud pumps. Range 3 drill pipe is used without setback. The rig is capable of horizontal and vertical drilling, but is primarily used for vertical drilling.
(3)A silicon-controlled-rectifier (“SCR”) system converts alternate current (“AC”) produced by one or more AC generator sets into direct current (“DC”). The SCR rigs are equipped with 3,000 horsepower drawworks to drill deep conventional wells.
Drilling Services and Solutions
We are the largest provider of super-spec AC drive land rigs in the Western Hemisphere. Operating principally in North and South America, we specialize in shale and unconventional resource plays, drilling challenging and complex wells in oil and gas producing basins in the United States and in international locations. In the United States, we have a diverse mix of customers consisting of large independent, major, mid-sized and small cap oil companies and private independent companies (including private equity-backed companies) that are primarily focused on unconventional shale basins. In South America and the Middle East, our customers primarily include major international and national oil companies.
We did not have any individual customers that represented 10% or more of our total consolidated revenues in fiscal years 2023, 2022, or 2021.
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The following table presents operating statistics for the fiscal years 2023, 2022, and 2021:
|Year Ended September 30,|
|North America Solutions||Offshore Gulf of Mexico||International Solutions|
|61,814 ||59,672||39,199||1,460 ||1,460||1,552||4,788 ||3,036||1,815|
Average active rigs2
|169||163||107|| ||4||4|| ||4|| ||13||8|| ||5|
Number of active rigs at the end of period3
|147||176||127||4 ||4 ||4 ||13 ||12 ||6 |
|Number of available rigs at the end of period||233||236||236||7 ||7 ||7 ||22 ||28 ||30 |
(1)Defined as the number of contractual days we recognized revenue during the period.
(2)Active rigs generate revenue for the Company; accordingly 'average active rigs' represents the average number of rigs generating revenue during the applicable period. This metric is calculated by dividing revenue days by total days in the applicable period (i.e. 365 days). This includes the impact of downsizing our fleet and/or rigs that have been reclassified to assets held-for-sale. See Note 3—Property, Plant and Equipment to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
(3)Defined as the number of rigs generating revenue at the applicable end date of the time period.
North America Solutions Segment
We believe we operate the largest and most technologically advanced AC drive drilling rig fleet in North America and have a presence in most of the U.S. shale and unconventional basins. We have the leading market share in at least two of the most active oil basins, which include the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. All of our active rigs are capable of drilling horizontal or directional wells. As of September 30, 2023, we had approximately 23.6 percent of the total market share in U.S. land drilling and approximately 33.4 percent of the super-spec market share in U.S. land drilling. In the United States, we have the industry's largest super-spec fleet with 231 rigs, of which 145 were under contract at September 30, 2023. In total, 147 of our 233 marketed rigs were active under contract, 85 were under fixed‑term contracts, and 62 were working well-to-well as of September 30, 2023.
Our drilling technology within this segment enables a solutions-based approach that provides performance-driven drilling services designed to help deliver greater levels of drilling efficiency, accuracy, consistency, optimization and a reduction of human error to create higher quality wellbores with lower overall risk. This technology is intended to address our customers' unique challenges based upon their goals and desired outcomes which will often vary from well to well, basin to basin.
Our North America Solutions segment contributed approximately 87.7 percent ($2.5 billion) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal year 2023, compared to approximately 86.8 percent ($1.8 billion) and 84.2 percent ($1.0 billion) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal years 2022 and 2021, respectively. In North America, our customers are primarily from the major integrated oil companies, large independent oil companies, small cap oil companies and private independent companies (including private equity-backed companies). Revenue from drilling services performed for our largest North America Solutions drilling customer totaled approximately 9.5 percent ($238.7 million) of the North America Solutions segment revenues during fiscal year 2023.
Offshore Gulf of Mexico Segment
Our Offshore Gulf of Mexico segment has been in operation since 1968 and currently consists of seven platform rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. We supply the rig equipment and crews and the operator, who owns the platform, will typically provide production equipment or other necessary facilities. Our offshore rig fleet operates on conventional fixed leg platforms and floating platforms attached to the sea floor with mooring lines, such as Spars and Tension Leg Platforms. Additionally, we provide management contract services to customer platforms where the customer owns the drilling rig.
As of September 30, 2023, four of the seven offshore rigs were under contract. Our Offshore Gulf of Mexico operations contributed approximately 4.5 percent ($130.2 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal year 2023, compared to approximately 6.1 percent ($125.5 million) and 10.4 percent ($126.4 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal years 2022 and 2021, respectively. Revenues from drilling services performed for our largest offshore drilling customer totaled approximately 84.0 percent ($109.4 million) of offshore revenues during fiscal year 2023.
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International Solutions Segment
Our International Solutions segment conducts operations in Argentina, Colombia, Bahrain, U.A.E., and Australia. As of September 30, 2023, we had thirteen land rigs contracted for work in locations outside of the United States. Our International Solutions operations contributed approximately 7.4 percent ($212.6 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal year 2023, compared to approximately 6.6 percent ($136.1 million) and 4.8 percent ($57.9 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal years 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Argentina As of September 30, 2023, we had 12 available rigs in Argentina. Revenues generated by Argentine drilling operations contributed approximately 4.8 percent ($137.4 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal year 2023 compared to approximately 4.4 percent ($91.4 million) and 2.3 percent ($27.9 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal years 2022 and 2021, respectively. Revenues from drilling services performed for our two largest customers in Argentina totaled approximately 3.0 percent of our consolidated operating revenues and approximately 40.2 percent of our international operating revenues during fiscal year 2023. The Argentine drilling contracts are primarily with large international or national oil companies.
Colombia As of September 30, 2023, we had five available rigs in Colombia. Revenues generated by Colombian drilling operations contributed approximately 1.6 percent ($46.7 million) of our consolidated operating revenues in fiscal year 2023, compared to approximately 1.1 percent ($22.0 million) and 0.1 percent ($1.7 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal years 2022 and 2021, respectively. Revenues from drilling services performed for our two largest customers in Colombia totaled approximately 1.6 percent of our consolidated operating revenues and approximately 22.0 percent of our international operating revenues during fiscal year 2023. The Colombian drilling contracts are primarily with large international or national oil companies.
Bahrain As of September 30, 2023, we had three available rigs in Bahrain. Revenues generated by Bahrain drilling operations contributed approximately 0.5 percent ($15.4 million) of our consolidated operating revenues in fiscal year 2023, compared to approximately 0.8 percent ($17.0 million) and 2.3 percent ($27.4 million) of our consolidated operating revenues during fiscal years 2022 and 2021, respectively. All of our revenues in Bahrain are from a partner of the local national oil company.
United Arab Emirates During the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, our operations in U.A.E. consisted of services provided to ADNOC Drilling Company P.J.S.C. ("ADNOC Drilling"), primarily in the form of secondment labor, as part of the strategic alliance that was announced in September 2021. H&P's alliance with ADNOC Drilling includes several accretive projects, in addition to general consulting services, that leverage H&P's expertise and technologies to help deliver more competitive well completion times, greater drilling efficiencies, and improved well economics. As of September 30, 2023, we had one available rig in the U.A.E.
Australia During the year ended September 30, 2023, we commenced drilling operations in Australia. All of our revenue in Australia is from one customer Tamboran, a publicly traded company. As of September 30, 2023, we had one available rig in Australia.
We own and operate a limited number of commercial real estate properties located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our real estate investments include a shopping center and undeveloped real estate.
We continue to use our captive insurance subsidiaries ("the Captives") to insure the deductibles for our domestic workers’ compensation, general liability, automobile liability claims programs, and medical stop-loss program and to insure the deductibles from the Company's international casualty and rig property programs.
The Company's incubator program includes activity related to investments in emerging technology companies.
Our real estate operations, our incubator program, and our wholly-owned captive insurance companies are included in "Other" within our segment disclosures.
Rigs, Equipment, R&D, and Facilities
During the late 1990’s, we undertook a strategic initiative to develop a new generation drilling rig that would be the safest, fastest-moving and highest performing rig in the land drilling market. Our first FlexRig® drilling rig entered the market in 1998. We continued to innovate and in 2002 introduced our first AC drive rigs, which incorporated new drilling technology and improved safety and environmental design. These rigs found immediate success by delivering higher value wells to the customer and marked the beginning of the AC land rig revolution.
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We also changed our pricing and contracting strategy, and beginning in 2005, predominantly all new FlexRig® drilling rigs were built, supported by a firm contract, and generated attractive returns. To date, we have built over 200 FlexRig® rigs that align with this strategy. An important part of our strategy was to design a rig that could support continuous improvement through upgrade capability of the hardware and software on the rigs to take advantage of technology improvements and lengthening the industry rig replacement cycle. These upgrades included, but were not limited to, enhanced drilling control systems and software, skid and walking systems for drilling multiple well pads, 7,500 psi mud systems, set back capacity to accommodate the pipe that the longer laterals demanded, and additional mud system capacity.
In 2011, we introduced a FlexRig® design for long lateral drilling of multiple wells from a single location and for drilling horizontally in unconventional shale reservoirs. The new design preserved the key performance features of earlier designs but added a bi-directional skidding system and equipment capacities suitable for drilling long lateral wells.
In 2016, we saw the further progression of longer lateral wells, which brought additional technical challenges. At that time, we began delivering rigs to the market that were equipped and capable of drilling these longer lateral wells. The industry would later refer to these rigs as super-spec rigs, which have the following specific characteristics: AC drive, minimum 1,500 horsepower drawworks, minimum of 750,000 lbs. hookload rating, 7,500 psi mud circulating system, and multiple-well pad capability. Additionally, our competency in design and construction as well as our financial strength enabled us to efficiently upgrade our other existing rigs to super-spec, resulting in what we believe to be the largest fleet of super-spec rigs in the world. As a result of these investments, today the vast majority of our current domestic fleet is comprised of super-spec rigs and half the rigs in our international fleet are super-spec rigs. As of September 30, 2023, we had a total of 242 super-spec rigs.
In 2017, we introduced our first walking rig by reconfiguring some of our uni-directional skid designed FlexRig® drilling rigs. Since then, we have reconfigured, converted, and upgraded a total of 68 FlexRig® drilling rigs to super-spec walking rigs.
Years of designing and building our fleet of AC drive FlexRig® drilling rigs has given us many competitive benefits. One key advantage is fleet uniformity. We have overseen the design and assembly of all of our AC FlexRig® drilling rigs, and our different rig classes share many common components. We co-designed the control systems for our rigs and have the right to make any changes or modifications to those systems that we desire. A uniform fleet creates an adaptive environment to reach maximum efficiency for employees, equipment and technology and is critical to our ability to provide consistent, safe and reliable operations in increasingly complex basins. In addition, our fleet has greater scale than any other competitor, which enables us to upgrade our existing FlexRig® drilling rigs to super-spec in a capital efficient way. High levels of uniformity in crew training and rotation and our ability to identify and remove safety exposures across a more standard fleet allow us to deliver higher performance in a safer and more reliable manner for the customer. Further, our fleet is supported by a cost-effective Company-owned supply chain that provides standardized materials directly to the rigs from our regional warehouses.
A long-standing challenge in our industry is providing high quality and consistent results. In addressing this challenge, we utilize process excellence techniques that are developed internally. We provide experienced drilling and maintenance support for our operations, which provides value by reducing nonproductive time in our operations and improving drilling performance through our Rig Systems Monitoring and Support Center (“RSMS”) and Remote Operations Centers ("ROCs"). Our RSMS and ROCs are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the ability to monitor and detect trends in drilling and drilling services performance onboard our rigs. Our monitoring group within the RSMS provides real-time help and feedback to our wellsite employees, as well as our customers, to fully optimize our operational performance. Additionally, our RSMS and ROCs have staffs of engineers and industry experts that work with our customers to enhance wellbore positioning, drilling program execution and overall drilling performance. The monitoring group and our performance engineers capture our drilling work steps to help provide high quality and reliable results for our customers.
We currently have two facilities that provide vertically integrated solutions for drilling rig manufacturing, upgrades, retrofits and modifications, as well as overhauling, recertification, and repairs as it relates to our rigs and equipment. These facilities utilize lean manufacturing processes to enhance quality and efficiency as well as provide important insights into the maintenance and wear of equipment on our rigs. Our facility located in Galena Park, Texas is primarily utilized for overall rig assembly, overhaul, recommissioning and recertification while our facility near Tulsa, Oklahoma is primarily utilized for modular rig component overhauls and repairs.
We continue to see adoption and growth with our technologically enabled automation solutions. We designed our automation solutions to address challenges within our customers’ businesses as much of the drilling process is heavily dependent on human decision-making to design, execute and optimize crude oil and natural gas extraction. Utilizing these technologies, we are able to deploy a more data-driven solution compared to human decisions and execution, thereby reducing variability and the costs around achieving optimal outcomes. These solutions are designed to continue to help provide differentiated value for our customers through enhanced wellbore quality and placement, improved cost performance and well economics, and better consistency at reduced risk. Our automation-focused solutions and applications are enabled by our uniform digital fleet and are designed to provide additional value to our customers' well programs by providing a platform for machine-human collaboration during the drilling process to improve efficiency. Our path to autonomous drilling continues to evolve with several solutions in various stages of commercial testing. All of our technologies play an important role in developing our strategy as we head towards autonomous drilling.
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We have historically offered ancillary services, which are now referred to as FlexServices®. Currently, these services include surface equipment rental, pipe rental and additional rig crew. During the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, we sold the assets associated with two lower margin service offerings, trucking and casing running services, which contributed approximately 2.8 percent to our consolidated revenues during fiscal year 2021, in two separate transactions. The sale of our trucking services assets was completed on November 3, 2021, while the sale of our casing running services assets was completed on November 15, 2021, for total consideration less costs to sell of $6.0 million, in addition to the possibility of future earnout proceeds, resulting in a loss of $3.4 million. We recognized earnout proceeds associated with the sale of our trucking and casing running assets of $1.6 million and $1.1 million during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, respectively, within Other (gain) loss on sale of assets on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
Markets and Competition
Our business largely depends on the level of capital spending by oil and gas companies for exploration and production activities. The level of capital spending has traditionally been correlated to oil and gas prices. Oil and gas prices can be volatile at times depending upon both near and long-term supply and demand factors. Sustained increases or decreases in the prices of oil and natural gas generally have a material impact on the exploration and production activities of our customers. As such, significant declines in the prices of oil and natural gas may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. As of September 30, 2023, we had 164 active rigs under contract, compared to 192 and 137 rigs under contract as of September 30, 2022 and 2021, respectively. For further information concerning risks associated with our business, including volatility surrounding oil and natural gas prices and the impact of low oil prices on our business, see Item 1A— “Risk Factors” and Item 7— “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in this Form 10‑K.
Our industry is highly competitive, and we strive to differentiate our services based upon the quality of our FlexRig® drilling rigs and our engineering design expertise, operational efficiency, software technologies, and safety and environmental awareness. The number of available rigs generally exceeds demand in many of our markets, resulting in significant price competition. We compete against many drilling companies, some of whom are present in more than one of our operating regions. In the United States, we compete with Nabors Industries Ltd., Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc., Precision Drilling Corporation, and many other competitors with regional operations. Internationally, we compete directly with various contractors at each location where we operate. In the Gulf of Mexico platform rig market, we primarily compete with Nabors Industries Ltd. and Blake International Rigs, LLC. For further information concerning risks associated with competition in our industry, see Item 1A—Risk Factors—Business and Operating Risks.
Our drilling contracts are obtained through competitive bidding or as a result of direct negotiations with customers. Our contracts vary in their terms and rates depending on the nature of the operations to be performed, the duration of the work, the amount and type of equipment and services provided, the geographic areas involved, market conditions and other variables. In many instances, our contracts cover multi‑well or pad and multi‑year projects. Contracts generally contain renewal or extension provisions exercisable at the option of the customer at prices mutually agreeable to us and the customer. In most instances, contracts provide for additional payments for mobilization and demobilization of the rig.
The duration of our drilling contracts are generally either “well‑to‑well/pad-to-pad” or for a fixed term. “Well‑to‑well” contracts can be terminated at the option of either party upon the completion of drilling of any one well. Fixed-term contracts generally have a minimum term of at least six months up to multiple years. These contracts customarily provide for termination at the election of the customer, but may include an “early termination payment” to be paid to us if the contract is terminated prior to the expiration of the fixed term. However, under certain limited circumstances such as destruction of a drilling rig, bankruptcy, sustained unacceptable performance by us or delivery of a rig beyond certain grace and/or liquidated damage periods, no early termination payment would be paid to us.
Each drilling rig operates under a separate drilling contract and, in some instances, these contracts are part of an over-arching term agreement known as a FlexPool. These agreements are with a limited number of customers that operate multiple rigs, oftentimes across multiple basins in the U.S. Under the FlexPool agreements, customers enter into a fixed term contract covering a minimum amount of drilling days, utilizing a minimum number of drilling rigs and have the flexibility to employ more or fewer rigs as long as the minimum number of rigs (outlined in the agreement) is maintained. If any provisions are violated, as in a customer operating below the minimum number of rigs, early termination payments may apply.
Daywork contracts are contracts under which we charge a rate per day, with the price determined by the location, depth and complexity of the well to be drilled, operating conditions, the duration of the contract, and the competitive forces of the market. During fiscal year 2023, a majority of our drilling services were performed on a “daywork” contract basis.
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Performance-based contracts are contracts pursuant to which we are compensated partly based upon our performance against a mutually agreed upon set of predetermined targets. These contract types are relatively new to the industry and typically have a lower base dayrate, but give us the opportunity to receive additional compensation by meeting or exceeding certain performance targets agreed to by our customers. For example, some performance targets are set based upon days to drill a well or the number of lateral feet drilled in zone per day. We often use our automated technology solutions to assist in achieving the performance targets. The risks associated with these contracts relate to the failure to reach the agreed upon performance targets. If we do not meet these targets, we will not receive additional compensation above the base dayrate. Based on our operational track record throughout fiscal year 2023 and drilling expertise, our performance-based contracts have produced a positive risk-reward outcome. We are seeing a growing adoption of performance contracts by our customers and we expect this trend to continue. Refer to Note 9—Revenue from Contracts with Customers for additional information related to performance-based contracts.
As of September 30, 2023 and 2022, our drilling contract backlog was $1.4 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively. Approximately 33.8 percent of the September 30, 2023 backlog is reasonably expected to be fulfilled in fiscal year 2025 and thereafter. See Item 7—"Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Contract Backlog" included in this Form 10-K for additional information pertaining to backlog.
As of September 30, 2023, we had approximately 6,200 employees within the United States and approximately 900 employees in our international operations. The number of employees fluctuates depending on the current and expected demand for our services. We consider our employee relations to be robust. None of our U.S. employees are represented by a union. However, some of our international employees are unionized.
Human Capital Objectives and Programs
We strive to create a culture and work environment that enables us to attract, train, promote, and retain a diverse group of talented employees who together can help us gain a competitive advantage.
Core Values and Culture
"The H&P Way" defines our purpose, core values, and the behaviors that drive our culture. What we endeavor to do is anchored in our purpose, improving lives through efficient and responsible energy. Fostering and maintaining a strong, healthy culture is a key strategic focus. Our core values serve to inform who we are and the way our employees interact with one another, our customers, partners and shareholders. Our core value of Actively C.A.R.E. means that we treat one another with respect. We care about each other, and from a safety perspective, our employees are committed to Controlling and Removing Exposures ("C.A.R.E.") for themselves and others. Our core value of Service Attitude means that we do our part and more for those around us. We consider the needs of others and provide solutions to meet their needs. Our core value of Innovative Spirit means that we constantly work to improve and are willing to try new approaches. We make decisions with the long-term view in mind. Our core value of Teamwork means that we listen to one another and work across teams toward a common goal. We collaborate to achieve results and focus on success for our customers and shareholders. Finally, we strive to Do The Right Thing. That means we are honest and transparent. We tackle tough situations, make decisions, and speak up when needed.
Talent Attraction & Retention
Our recruiting practices and decisions on whom we hire are among our most important activities. Our Workforce Staffing team provides full staffing services to enable consistent staffing levels on our rigs. This team sources, hires, onboards, trains, assigns and reassigns rig-based employees. In downturn years, we maintain relationships with former employees and prioritize recalling our most experienced people for field positions. In addition, we utilize social media, local job fairs, employee referral bonuses, and educational organizations across the United States to find diverse, motivated and responsible employees.
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Education and Training
We are committed to the continual training and development of our employees, especially of those in field operations, to help ensure we can develop future managers and leaders from within our organization. Our training starts with on-boarding procedures that focus on safety, responsibility, ethical conduct and inclusive teamwork.
H&P’s strong commitment to our employees’ growth is demonstrated through our formal organizational development team, which oversees talent management, training and development. In addition to career and safety training efforts, the team creates, manages and implements enhancements to development and succession plans, change management initiatives and diversity, equity and inclusion ("DE&I") programs.
H&P offers a variety of training programs ranging from job specific programs to leadership development. Some of the prominent training programs that we offer are:
•New Employment Safety Training - onboarding program for new hires in safety sensitive positions. The purpose of the program is to prepare employees to work safely on our rigs and provide necessary certifications to do so; including all Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") and International Association of Drilling Contractors ("IADC") training, as well as Company culture education.
•Short Service Employee Training - specialized training program that is a continuation of New Employment Introduction basics and is intended to provide technical on-the-job training guided by a mentor.
•Ethics and Compliance Training – comprised of several specific training programs, including Code of Conduct, Insider Trading, Anti-Discrimination & Harassment, Data Privacy, Trade Compliance, and Anti-Corruption.
•Change Champions Training - teaches employees to solve complex problems using structured processes, tools and data to drive results while emphasizing leadership and public speaking.
•Leadership Series Training - accessible online to all leaders and covers a variety of topics related to leading The H&P Way.
Safety Training and Serious Injury and/or Fatality ("SIF") Reduction Program
We are committed to creating a culture highlighted by an Actively Caring workforce. We strive to Actively C.A.R.E. for:
•our own safety and health;
•the safety and health of others; and
•the protection of our environment.
Fundamental to our Actively C.A.R.E. culture is every individual's willingness to provide immediate open feedback to others regarding safe and unsafe work practices and to proactively correct recognized exposures that threaten one's health and safety. Through training and accountability, H&P educates our employees on the negative consequences of taking health and safety risks.
For more than 20 years, H&P measured safety success the same way other companies in our industry did – the absence of OSHA recordable injuries and declining total recordable injury rates ("TRIR"). We now believe it is more important to take a more holistic and proactive approach to identify safety issues which supports management's efforts to build trust with field employees. Starting in 2015, we have redefined safety success as the Control and Removal of Exposures (C.A.R.E.) for self and others and encourage employees to report near miss incidents with serious, life-altering or fatal injury potential, identifying and reporting serious injury exposures for which employees are personally recognized and rewarded monetarily for exemplifying our Actively C.A.R.E culture. We believe trust is key to organizational health, as well as safety and operational success.
We are committed to controlling and removing SIF exposures at any H&P rig or facility. We continue to track traditional safety metrics, such as TRIR, to be responsive to customer requests and industry benchmarking, but do not use these metrics as the foundation for our safety culture. H&P data shows that only a small portion of OSHA recordable incidents provide value in preventing potential serious injuries. Incidents that do not result in an injury, but have the potential for a serious injury or fatality provide many more learning opportunities for preventing future serious injuries or fatalities. Based on this data we have a guided approach to incident investigations and corrective actions. Incidents that have the potential to cause a serious injury or fatality are escalated. Our safety success at H&P will be based on key performance indicators related to the removal of SIF exposures, such as SIF Potential and SIF Mitigated rates. Our vision for the future of safety at H&P will be guided by these principles.
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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
We believe that creating an environment where our employees feel valued and respected drives engagement, better leverages the unique talents and perspectives of our people to innovate and enhances our ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce. H&P has employed a DE&I Principal Specialist, implemented a thriving Women of H&P Employee Resource Group, and established a DE&I Advisory Council with global employee representation. Our commitments are evidenced by formalized policies regarding equal opportunity and a discrimination-free workplace. We are actively tracking diversity data to better understand demographics within the organization.
Employee Benefits, Health and Wellness
H&P values its employees and believes competitive compensation and benefit packages are essential to prioritizing the well-being of its staff. Select highlights of our benefits programs include:
•Medical, dental and vision insurance for all full-time employees, and all part-time employees working more than 20 hours per week, and their dependents;
•A 401(k) plan with Company match incentive for all full-time employees, and all part-time employees working more than 20 hours per week;
•Employer paid life insurance benefits, which include a life assistance program, identity theft protection, and travel assistance plan;
•The Employee Assistance Plan, which offers wellness support with counseling, legal assistance, financial coaching, and identity theft resolution;
•The H&P Way Fund, which provides financial assistance to H&P employees during unavoidable emergencies;
•Employee discounts for phone, computer, personal vehicle, car rental, and hotel purchases; and
•An Educational Assistance Plan, which offers reimbursement of tuition fees for any employee pursuing an undergraduate degree and, in some cases, post-graduate degrees.
Insurance and Risk Management
Our operations are subject to a number of operational risks, including personal injury and death, environmental, cyber, and weather risks, which could expose us to significant losses and damage claims. We are not fully insured against all of these risks and our contractual indemnity provisions may not fully protect us. Furthermore, if a significant accident or other event occurs and is not fully covered by insurance or an enforceable or recoverable indemnity from a customer, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have indemnification agreements with many of our customers and we also maintain liability and other forms of insurance. In general, our drilling contracts contain provisions requiring our customers to indemnify us for, among other things, well control events and reservoir damage. However, our contractual rights to indemnification may be unenforceable or limited due to negligent or willful acts by us, or subcontractors and/or suppliers or by reason of state anti-indemnity laws. Our customers and other third parties may also dispute these indemnification provisions, or we may be unable to transfer these risks to our drilling customers or other third parties by contract or indemnification agreements.
We insure working land rigs and related property and equipment at values that approximate the current replacement costs on the inception date of the policies. However, we self-insure large deductibles under these policies. We also carry insurance with varying deductibles and coverage limits with respect to stacked rigs, offshore platform rigs, and “named wind storm” risk in the Gulf of Mexico.
We have insurance coverage for comprehensive general liability, automobile liability, workers’ compensation and employer’s liability, and certain other specific risks. Insurance is purchased over deductibles to reduce our exposure to catastrophic events. We retain a significant portion of our expected losses under our workers’ compensation, general liability and automobile liability programs. We self-insure a number of other risks including loss of earnings and business interruption. We are unable to obtain significant amounts of insurance to cover risks of underground reservoir damage.
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Our insurance may not in all situations provide sufficient funds to protect us from all liabilities that could result from our operations. Our coverage includes aggregate policy limits. As a result, we retain the risk for any loss in excess of these limits. No assurance can be given that all or a portion of our coverage will not be canceled, that insurance coverage will continue to be available at rates considered reasonable or that our coverage will respond to a specific loss. Further, we may experience difficulties in collecting from our insurers or our insurers may deny all or a portion of our claims for insurance coverage. For further information see Item 1A—Risk Factors—Business and Operating Risks—Our drilling and technology related operations are subject to a number of operational risks, including environmental and weather risks, which could expose us to significant losses and damage claims. We are not fully insured against all of these risks and our contractual indemnity provisions may not fully protect us.
Our operations are affected from time to time and in varying degrees by foreign and domestic political developments and a variety of federal, state, foreign, regional and local laws, rules and regulations, including those relating to:
• drilling of oil and natural gas wells;
• directional drilling services;
• protection of the environment;
• workplace health and safety;
• labor and employment;
• data privacy;
• exportation or importation of equipment, technology and software;
• currency conversion and repatriation;
•global anti-corruption laws; and
•government sanctions and embargo listing.
Environmental laws and regulations that apply to our operations include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (each, as amended) and similar laws that provide for responses to, and liability for, air emissions, water discharges or releases of oil or hazardous substances into the environment, including damages to natural resources. Applicable environmental laws and regulations also include similar foreign, state or local counterparts to the above-mentioned federal laws, which regulate air emissions, water discharges, and management of hazardous substances and waste. Environmental laws can have a material adverse effect on the drilling industry, including our operations, and compliance with such laws may require us to make significant capital expenditures, such as the installation of costly equipment or operational changes, and may affect the resale values or useful lives of our drilling rigs.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act and other similar laws and regulations govern the protection of the health and safety of employees. The OSHA hazard communication standard, the Environmental Protection Agency community right-to-know regulations under Title III of CERCLA, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and similar state statutes and local regulations require that information be maintained about hazardous materials used in our operations and that this information be provided to employees, state and local governments, emergency responders and citizens.
A number of countries actively regulate and control the importation and/or exportation of oil and gas and other aspects of the oil and gas industries in their countries. In addition, government actions and initiatives by OPEC+ may continue to contribute to oil price volatility. In some areas of the world, government activity has adversely affected the amount of exploration and development work done by oil and gas companies and influenced their need for drilling services, and likely will continue to do so.
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In addition, we are subject to a variety of other U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, other anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, and data privacy, data security and consumer protection laws. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws in other jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Data privacy, data security, and consumer protection laws in the U.S. that apply to our operations include the Critical Infrastructure Act and the CAN-SPAM Act, and at the state level, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”). Because we conduct business in France and the UK, we are also subject to the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the UK Data Protection Act. Our operations in the Middle East and Colombia are subject to similar data privacy and data protection laws. Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations or acts of misconduct could subject us to fines, penalties or other sanctions. For more information, see Item 1A— “Risk Factors — Failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or foreign anti‑bribery legislation could adversely affect our business and Our business is subject to complex and evolving laws and regulations regarding privacy, data security and consumer protection.”
We are also subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other U.S. and non-U.S. laws and regulations governing the international trade of goods, services and technology. Such regulations regarding exports and imports of covered goods or dealings with sanctioned countries, persons or entities include licensing, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations relating to customs, tariffs, sanctions and export controls may subject us to criminal sanctions or civil remedies, including fines, denial of export privileges, injunctions or seizures of assets. For more information, see Item 1A— “Risk Factors — Government policies, mandates, and regulations specifically affecting the energy sector and related industries, regulatory policies or matters that affect a variety of businesses, taxation polices, and political instability could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.”
We are also subject to regulation by numerous other regulatory agencies, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Department of Labor, which sets employment practice standards for workers. In addition, we are subject to certain requirements to contribute to retirement funds or other benefit plans, and laws in some jurisdictions may require payment of statutorily calculated amounts to employees upon termination of employment.
We monitor our compliance with applicable governmental rules and regulations in each country of operation. We have made and will continue to make the required expenditures to comply with current and future regulatory requirements. We do not anticipate that compliance with currently applicable rules and regulations and required controls will significantly change our competitive position, capital spending or earnings during fiscal year 2024. We believe we are materially compliant with applicable rules and regulations and, to date, the cost of such compliance has not been material to our business or financial condition. However, future events such as additional laws and regulations, changes in existing laws and regulations or their interpretation or more vigorous enforcement policies of regulatory agencies, may require additional expenditures by us, which may be material. Specifically, the expansion of the scope of laws or regulations protecting the environment has accelerated in recent years, particularly outside the United States, and we expect this trend to continue. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we will not incur significant compliance costs in the future. See Item 1A— “Risk Factors — Failure to comply with or changes to governmental and environmental laws could adversely affect our business.”
H&P has helped its customers supply energy for more than a century, and we continue to innovate and improve the ways in which we can provide energy safely, reliably, and efficiently. The Company continues to evolve and refine its comprehensive sustainability strategy rooted in our core value to "do the right thing," as discussed above. Our sustainability strategy uses data to better understand our impacts in areas like emissions, diversity, and safety. Additional information on our sustainability strategy and programs can be obtained by reviewing our Sustainability Reports and related information, located on our website.
Our website is located at www.helmerichpayne.com. Annual reports on Form 10‑K, quarterly reports on Form 10‑Q, current reports on Form 8‑K, and amendments to those reports, earnings releases, and financial statements are made available free of charge on the investor relations section of our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such materials with, or furnish such materials to, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The information contained on our website, or accessible from our website, including our Sustainability Reports and related information, is not incorporated into, and should not be considered part of, this Form 10‑K or any other documents we file with, or furnish to, the SEC. The SEC maintains a website (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. Annual reports, quarterly reports, current reports, amendments to those reports, earnings releases, financial statements and our various corporate governance documents are also available free of charge upon written request.
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Investors and others should note that we announce material financial information to our investors using our investor relations website (https://ir.helmerichpayne.com/websites/helmerichandpayne/English/0/investor-relations.html), SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts. We use these channels as well as social media to communicate with our stockholders and the public about our company, our services and other issues. It is possible that the information we post on social media could be deemed to be material information. Therefore, we encourage investors, the media, and others interested in our company to review the information we post on the social media channels listed on our investor relations website.
An investment in our securities involves a variety of risks. In addition to the other information included and incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K and the risk factors discussed elsewhere in this Form 10-K, the following risk factors should be carefully considered, as they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. There may be other additional risks, uncertainties and matters not presently known to us or that we believe to be immaterial that could nevertheless have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
|BUSINESS AND OPERATING RISKS|
Our business depends on the level of activity in the oil and natural gas industry, which is significantly impacted by the current and expected price of oil and natural gas as well as the volatility in those prices and other factors.
Our business depends on the conditions of the land and offshore oil and natural gas industry. Demand for our services and the rates we are able to charge for such services depend on oil and natural gas industry exploration and production activity and expenditure levels, which are directly affected by both long- and short-term trends in oil and natural gas prices and market expectations regarding such prices. Oil prices are particularly sensitive to actual and perceived threats to geopolitical stability, global economic conditions, and to changes in production from OPEC+ member states. For example, the ongoing armed conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Hamas and the continuation of, or any escalation in the severity of, these conflicts, has led and may continue to lead to an increase in the volatility of global oil and gas prices, which could have a corresponding negative impact on the capital expenditure of oil and gas companies as a result of the higher perceived risk. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp decline in oil prices and drilling activity in 2020.
Oil and natural gas prices and production levels, as well as market expectations regarding such prices and production levels, have been volatile, which has had, and may in the future have, adverse effects on our business and operations. The volatility in prices and production levels are impacted by many factors beyond our control, including:
•the domestic and foreign supply of, and demand for, oil, natural gas and related products;
•the cost of exploring for, developing, producing and delivering oil and natural gas;
•uncertainty in capital and commodities markets and the ability of oil and natural gas producers to access capital;
•the availability of and constraints in storage and transportation capacity, including, for example, takeaway constraints experienced in the Permian Basin over the past several years;
•the worldwide economy;
•expectations about future oil and natural gas prices and production levels;
•local and international political, economic, health and weather conditions, especially in oil and natural gas producing countries, including, for example, the impacts of local and international pandemics and other disasters;
•actions of OPEC, its members and other oil producing nations, such as Russia, relating to oil price and production levels, including announcements of potential changes to such levels;
•the levels of production of oil and natural gas of non-OPEC countries;
•the continued development of shale plays which may influence worldwide supply and prices;
•tax policies of the United States and other countries involved in global energy markets;
•political and military conflicts, hostilities or perceived hostilities in oil producing regions or other geographical areas or acts of terrorism in the United States or elsewhere;
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•technological advances that are related to oil and natural gas recovery or that affect the global demand for energy;
•the development, exploitation and market acceptance of alternative energy sources as part of a transition to a lower carbon economy;
•increased focus by the investment community on sustainability practices in the oil and natural gas industry;
•legal and other limitations or restrictions on exportation and/or importation of oil and natural gas;
•laws and governmental regulations affecting the use of oil and natural gas; and
•the environmental and other laws and governmental regulations affecting exploration and development of oil and natural gas reserves.
The level of land and offshore exploration, development and production activity and the prices of oil and natural gas are volatile and are likely to continue to be volatile in the future. Higher oil and natural gas prices do not necessarily translate into increased activity because demand for our services is typically driven by our customers’ expectations of future commodity prices, as well as our customers' ability to access sources of capital to fund their operating and capital expenditures. However, a sustained decline in worldwide demand for oil and natural gas, as well as excess supply of oil or natural gas coupled with storage and transportation capacity constraints, shutting in of wells or wells being drilled but not completed, prolonged low oil or natural gas prices or a reduction in the ability of our customers to access capital, has resulted in, and may in the future result in, reduced exploration and development of land and offshore areas and a decline in the demand for our services, which has had, and may in the future, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Global economic conditions and volatility in oil and gas prices may adversely affect our business.
Concerns over global economic conditions, energy costs, geopolitical issues, supply chain disruptions, inflation, the availability and cost of credit have contributed to increased economic uncertainty. An economic slowdown or recession in the United States or in any other country that significantly affects the supply of or demand for oil or natural gas could negatively impact our operations and therefore adversely affect our results. Global economic conditions have a significant impact on oil and natural gas prices and stagnation or deterioration in global economic conditions could result in less demand for our services and could cause our customers to reduce their planned spending on exploration and development drilling. Adverse global economic conditions may cause our customers, vendors and/or suppliers to lose access to the financing necessary to sustain or increase their current level of operations, fulfill their commitments and/or fund future operations and obligations. Furthermore, challenging economic conditions may result in certain of our customers experiencing bankruptcy or otherwise becoming unable to pay vendors, including us. In the past, global economic conditions, and expectations for future global economic conditions, have sometimes experienced significant deterioration in a relatively short period of time and there can be no assurance that global economic conditions or expectations for future global economic conditions will recover in the near term or not quickly deteriorate again due to one or more factors. These conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The drilling services and solutions business is highly competitive, and a surplus of available drilling rigs may adversely affect our rig utilization and profit margins.
Competition in drilling services and solutions involves such factors as price, efficiency, condition, type and operational capability of equipment, reputation, operating safety, environmental impact, customer relations, rig availability and excess rig capacity in the industry. Competition may vary significantly by region at any particular time. Land drilling rigs can be readily moved from one region to another in response to changes in levels of activity, which could result in an oversupply of rigs in any region, leading to increased price competition. In addition, development of new drilling technology by competitors has increased in recent years, which could negatively affect our ability to differentiate our services.
We periodically seek to increase the prices on our services to offset rising costs, earn returns on our capital investment and otherwise generate higher returns for our stockholders. However, we operate in a very competitive industry and we are not always successful in raising or maintaining our existing prices. From time to time we are able to increase our prices, but we may not be able to do so at a rate that is sufficient to offset rising costs. The inability to maintain our pricing and to increase our pricing as costs increase to offset rising costs and capital expenditures could adversely affect our rig utilization and profit margins.
Following periods of downturn in our industry, there may be substantially more drilling rigs available than necessary to meet demand even as oil and natural gas prices, and drilling activity, rebound. In the event of a surplus of available and more competitive drilling rigs, we may continue to experience difficulty in replacing fixed‑term contracts, extending expiring contracts or obtaining new contracts in the spot market, and new contracts may contain lower dayrates and substantially less favorable terms, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. As of September 30, 2023, 98 of our available rigs were not under contract.
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Further, as a result of a significant reduction in the demand for oil and natural gas services, certain of our competitors may engage in bankruptcy proceedings, debt refinancing transactions, management changes, or other strategic initiatives in an attempt to reduce operating costs to maintain a position in the market. This could result in such competitors emerging with stronger or healthier balance sheets and in turn an improved ability to compete with us in the future. We may also see corporate consolidations among our competitors, which could significantly alter industry conditions and competition within the industry, and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
New technologies may cause our drilling methods and equipment to become less competitive and it may become necessary to incur higher levels of capital expenditures in order to keep pace with the disruptive trends in the drilling industry. Growth through the building of new drilling rigs and improvement of existing rigs is not assured.
The market for our services is characterized by continual technological developments that have resulted in, and will likely continue to result in, substantial improvements in the functionality and performance, including environmental performance, of rigs and equipment. Our customers increasingly demand the services of newer, higher specification drilling rigs, as well as new and improved technology, such as drilling automation technology and lower-emissions operations and services. This results in a bifurcation of the drilling fleet and is evidenced by the higher specification drilling rigs (e.g., AC rigs) generally operating at higher overall utilization levels and dayrates than the lower specification drilling rigs (e.g., SCR rigs). In addition, a significant number of lower specification rigs are being stacked and/or removed from service.
Although we take measures to ensure that we develop and use advanced oil and natural gas drilling technology, changes in technology, improvements by competitors and increasing customer demands for new and improved technology could make our equipment less competitive. There can be no assurance that we will:
•have sufficient capital resources to improve existing rigs or build new, technologically advanced drilling rigs;
•avoid cost overruns inherent in large fabrication projects resulting from numerous factors such as shortages or unscheduled delays in delivery of equipment or materials, inadequate levels of skilled labor, unanticipated increases in costs of equipment, materials and labor, design and engineering problems, and financial or other difficulties;
•successfully deploy idle, stacked, new or upgraded drilling rigs;
•effectively manage the increased size or future growth of our organization and drilling fleet;
•maintain crews necessary to operate existing or additional drilling rigs; or
•successfully improve our financial condition, results of operations, business or prospects as a result of improving existing drilling rigs or building new drilling rigs.
In the event that we are successful in developing new technologies for use in our business, there is no guarantee of future demand for those technologies. Customers may be reluctant or unwilling to adopt our new technologies. We may also have difficulty negotiating satisfactory terms for our technology services or may be unable to secure prices sufficient to obtain expected returns on our investment in the research and development of new technologies.
If we are not successful in upgrading existing rigs and equipment or building new rigs in a timely and cost‑effective manner suitable to customer needs, demand for our services could decline and we could lose market share. One or more technologies that we may implement in the future may not work as we expect and our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation could be adversely affected as a result. Additionally, new technologies, services or standards could render some of our services, drilling rigs or equipment obsolete, which could reduce our competitiveness and have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our drilling and technology related operations are subject to a number of operational risks, including environmental and weather risks, which could expose us to significant losses and damage claims. We are not fully insured against all of these risks and our contractual indemnity provisions may not fully protect us.
Our operations are subject to the many hazards inherent in the business, including inclement weather, unplanned power outages, blowouts, explosions, well fires, loss of well control, equipment failure, computer system disruptions, pollution, and reservoir damage. These hazards could cause significant environmental and reservoir damage, personal injury and death, suspension of operations, serious damage or destruction of equipment and property and substantial damage to producing formations and surrounding lands and waters. An accident or other event resulting in significant environmental or property damage, or injuries or fatalities involving our employees or other persons could also trigger investigations by federal, state or local authorities. Such an accident or other event and subsequent crisis management efforts could cause us to incur substantial expenses in connection with investigation and remediation as well as cause lasting damage to our reputation, loss of customers and an inability to obtain insurance.
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Our Offshore Gulf of Mexico operations are also subject to potentially significant risks and liabilities attributable to or resulting from adverse environmental conditions, including pollution of offshore waters and related negative impact on wildlife and habitat, adverse sea conditions and platform damage or destruction due to collision with aircraft or marine vessels. Our Offshore Gulf of Mexico operations may also be negatively affected by a blowout or an uncontrolled release of oil or hazardous substances by third parties whose offshore operations are unrelated to our operations. We operate several platform rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico experiences hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions on a frequent basis, which may increase in frequency and severity as a result of climate change. See below “— The physical effects of climate change and the regulation of greenhouse gases and climate change could have a negative impact on our business.” Damage caused by high winds and turbulent seas could potentially curtail operations on our platform rigs for significant periods of time until the damage can be repaired. Moreover, we may experience disruptions in operations due to damage to customer platforms and other related facilities in the area. We also lease a fabrication facility near the Houston, Texas ship channel, and our principal fabricator and other vendors are also located in the gulf coast region and could be exposed to damage or disruption by hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions, including coastal flooding, which in turn could result in increased operating costs or decreases in revenues and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
It is customary in our business to have mutual indemnification agreements with customers on a “knock-for-knock” basis, which means that we and our customers assume liability for our respective personnel, subcontractors, and property. In general, our drilling contracts contain provisions requiring our customers to indemnify us for, among other things, well control events and reservoir damage. However, our contractual rights to indemnification may be unenforceable or limited due to negligent or willful acts by us, our subcontractors and/or suppliers. Additionally, certain states, including Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Louisiana, have enacted statutes generally referred to as "oilfield anti-indemnity acts," which expressly limit certain indemnity agreements contained in or related to indemnification in contracts, and could expose the Company to financial loss. Furthermore, other states may enact similar oilfield anti-indemnity acts.
Our customers and other third parties may also dispute, or be unable to meet, their contractual indemnification obligations to us. Accordingly, we may be unable to transfer these risks to our customers and other third parties by contract or indemnification agreements. Incurring a liability for which we are not fully indemnified or insured could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We insure working land rigs and related equipment at values that approximate the current replacement cost on the inception date of the policies. We also carry insurance with varying deductibles and coverage limits with respect to stacked rigs, offshore platform rigs, and “named wind storm” risk in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, we have insurance coverage for comprehensive general liability, automobile liability, workers’ compensation and employer’s liability, and certain other specific risks. Insurance is purchased over deductibles to reduce our exposure to catastrophic events. In some cases, we self-insure large deductibles on certain insurance policies. We retain a significant portion of our expected losses under our workers’ compensation, general liability and automobile liability programs. The Company self‑insures a number of other risks, including loss of earnings and business interruption. We are unable to obtain significant amounts of insurance to cover risks of underground reservoir damage. Our insurance will not in all situations provide sufficient funds to protect us from all losses and liabilities that could result from our operations. Our coverage includes aggregate policy limits. As a result, we retain the risk for any loss in excess of these limits. No assurance can be given that insurance coverage will continue to be available at rates considered reasonable or that our coverage will respond to a specific loss. In addition, our insurance may not cover losses associated with pandemics such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, we may experience difficulties in collecting from our insurers or our insurers may deny all or a portion of our claims for insurance coverage.
If a significant accident or other event occurs and is not fully covered by insurance or an enforceable or recoverable indemnity from a customer, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is subject to cybersecurity and information technology system disruption risks.
Our operations depend on effective and secure information technology systems, including our own systems and the systems of third party vendors upon which we rely, such as those providing cloud services to us. Threats to information technology systems, including as a result of Security Incidents, continue to grow. Cybersecurity risks could include, but are not limited to, Security Incidents, such as ransomware attacks, denial-of-service attacks, phishing attacks, malicious software, attempts to gain unauthorized access to our data and the unauthorized release, corruption or loss of our data and personal information, employee or insider error, interruptions in communication, loss of our intellectual property or theft of our FlexRig® and other sensitive or proprietary technology, loss or damage to our data delivery systems, or other cybersecurity and infrastructure systems, including our property and equipment. In 2021, the Company introduced full-time or part-time remote work as a permanent option for select employees and a significant number of our corporate employees now work remotely. Remote work relies heavily on the use of remote networking and online conferencing services that enable employees to work outside of our corporate infrastructure and, in some cases, use their own personal devices, which exposes the Company to additional cybersecurity risks. Furthermore, geopolitical tensions or conflicts, such as the ongoing armed conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Hamas, may further heighten the risk of cybersecurity attacks. Our information technology systems and those of our third party vendors are also subject to disruptions due to occurrences other than Security Incidents, such as natural disasters or power outages.
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Security Incidents or other disruptions involving our own systems or those of our third-party vendors, could:
•disrupt our operations including operational technologies as well as our corporate information technology systems,
•negatively impact our ability to compete,
•result in the theft or misappropriation of funds,
•cause the loss, corruption or misappropriation of personal, proprietary or confidential information,
•expose us to litigation, regulatory action, and potential liability, and
•result in injury to our reputation, downtime, loss of revenue, and increased costs to prevent, respond to or mitigate Security Incidents or other disruptions.
It is possible that our business, financial and other systems, as well as those of our third-party vendors, could be compromised. While various procedures and controls are being utilized to mitigate exposure to such risk, there can be no assurance that the procedures and controls that we implement, or which we cause third party service providers to implement, will be sufficient to protect our systems, information or other property. A Security Incident or other disruption could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operations. Further, as Security Incidents continue to evolve, we may be required to incur additional costs to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate or remediate the effects of Security Incidents.
Our acquisitions, dispositions and investments may not result in anticipated benefits and may present risks not originally contemplated, which may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity, consolidated results of operations and consolidated financial condition.
We continually seek opportunities to maximize efficiency and value through various transactions, including purchases or sales of assets, businesses, investments, or joint venture interests. These strategic transactions, among others, are intended to (but may not) result in the realization of savings, the creation of efficiencies, the offering of new products or services, the generation of cash or income, or the reduction of risk. Acquisition transactions may use cash on hand or be financed by additional borrowings or by the issuance of our common stock. These transactions may also affect our liquidity, consolidated results of operations and consolidated financial condition.
These transactions also involve risks, and we cannot ensure that:
•any acquisitions we attempt will be completed on the terms announced, or at all;
•any acquisitions would result in an increase in income or provide an adequate return of capital or other anticipated benefits;
•any acquisitions would be successfully integrated into our operations and internal controls, including those related to financial reporting, disclosure and cyber and information security;
•the due diligence conducted prior to an acquisition would uncover situations that could result in financial or legal exposure, or that we will appropriately quantify the exposure from known risks;
•any disposition would not result in decreased earnings, revenue, or cash flow;
•use of cash for acquisitions would not adversely affect our cash available for capital expenditures and other uses; or
•any dispositions, investments, or acquisitions, including integration efforts, would not divert management resources.
We have allocated a portion of the purchase price of certain acquisitions to goodwill and other intangible assets. The amount allocated to goodwill is the excess of the purchase price over the net identifiable assets acquired. At September 30, 2023, we had goodwill of $45.7 million and other intangible assets, net of $60.6 million. If we experience future negative changes in our business climate or our results of operations such that we determine that goodwill or intangible assets are impaired, we will be required to record impairment charges with respect to such assets.
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Technology disputes and limitations on our ability to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights could negatively impact our costs, revenues, and any competitive advantage we hold.
Drilling rigs use proprietary technology and equipment which can involve potential infringement of a third party’s rights, or a third party’s infringement of our rights, including patent rights. The majority of the intellectual property rights relating to our drilling rigs and technology services are owned by us or certain of our supplying vendors. From time to time, we or our customers or supplying vendors become involved in disputes over infringement of intellectual property rights relating to equipment or technology owned or used by us. As a result, we may lose access to important equipment or technology, be required to cease use of some equipment or technology, be forced to modify our drilling rigs or technology, or be required to pay license fees or royalties for the use of equipment or technology. There can also be no assurance that the steps we take to obtain, maintain, protect, and enforce our intellectual property rights will be adequate. Our business may be adversely affected when our patents are unenforceable, the claims allowed under our patents are not sufficient to protect our technology, our patent applications are denied, or our trade secrets are not adequately protected. In addition, we may lose a competitive advantage in the event we are unsuccessful in enforcing our rights against third parties, third parties are successful in enforcing their rights against us, or our competitors are able to develop technology independently that is similar to ours without infringing on our patents or gaining access to our trade secrets. As a result, any technology disputes or limitations on our ability to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
|Unexpected events could disrupt our business and adversely affect our results of operations.|
Unexpected or unanticipated events, including, without limitation, computer system disruptions, unplanned power outages, fires or explosions at drilling rigs, natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes (occurrences of which may increase in frequency and severity as a result of climate change), war or terrorist activities, supply disruptions, failure of equipment, changes in laws and/or regulations impacting our businesses, pandemic illness and other unforeseeable circumstances that may arise from our increasingly connected world or otherwise, could adversely affect our business. It is not possible for us to predict the occurrence or consequence of any such events. However, any such events could create unforeseen liabilities, reduce our ability to provide drilling and related technology services, reduce demand for our services, or make it more difficult or costly to provide services, any of which may ultimately have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Reliance on management and competition for experienced personnel may negatively impact our operations or financial results.
We greatly depend on the efforts of our executive officers and other key employees to manage our operations. Similarly, we utilize highly skilled personnel in operating and supporting our businesses and in developing new technologies. In times of high utilization, it can be difficult to find and retain qualified individuals and, during the recent period of sustained declines in oil and natural gas prices, there have been reductions in the oil field services workforce, both of which have resulted and may in the future result in higher labor costs. The loss of members of management or the inability to attract and retain qualified personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the unexpected loss of members of management, qualified personnel or a significant number of employees due to disease, disability, or death, could have a detrimental effect on us.
The loss of one or a number of our large customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In fiscal year 2023, we received approximately 50.4 percent of our consolidated operating revenues from our ten largest drilling services and solutions customers and approximately 24.2 percent of our consolidated operating revenues from our three largest customers (including their affiliates). If one or more of our larger customers terminated their contracts, failed to renew existing contracts with us, or refused to award us with new contracts, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Further, consolidation among oil and natural gas exploration and production companies may reduce the number of available customers.
Our current backlog of drilling services and solutions revenue may decline and may not be ultimately realized as fixed‑term contracts and may, in certain instances, be terminated without an early termination payment.
Fixed‑term drilling contracts customarily provide for a termination by the customer for convenience, default, or extended force majeure. An “early termination payment” is typically paid to us if a contract is terminated prior to the expiration of the fixed term. However, in the event of default, such as destruction of a drilling rig, our bankruptcy, sustained unacceptable performance by us or delivery of a rig beyond certain grace and/or liquidated damage periods, no early termination payment would be paid to us. Even if an early termination payment is owed to us, during depressed market conditions or due to other factors, a customer may be unable or may refuse to pay the early termination payment and may seek to suspend, negotiate, or terminate the contract.
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Regardless of the reason for an early termination or suspension of a contract, such termination or suspension may result in a drilling rig being idle for an extended period of time if we are unable to secure new contracts on a timely basis and on substantially similar terms, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. As of September 30, 2023, our drilling services backlog was approximately $1.4 billion for future revenues under firm commitments. Our drilling services backlog may decline over time as existing contract term coverage may not be offset by new term contracts or price modifications for existing contracts, as a result of any number of factors, such as low or declining oil prices and capital spending reductions by our customers. Our inability or the inability of our customers to perform under our or their contractual obligations may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our contracts with national oil companies may expose us to greater risks than we normally assume in contracts with non-governmental customers.
We currently own and operate rigs and have deployed technology under contracts with foreign national oil companies. In the future, we may expand our international solutions operations and enter into additional, significant contracts with national oil companies. The terms of these contracts may contain non-negotiable provisions and may expose us to greater commercial, political, operational and other risks than we assume in other contracts. Foreign contracts may expose us to materially greater environmental liability and other claims for damages (including consequential damages) and personal injury related to our operations, or the risk that the contract may be terminated by our customer without cause on short-term notice, contractually or by governmental action, or under certain conditions that may not provide us with an early termination payment. We can provide no assurance that increased risk exposure will not have an adverse impact on our future operations or that we will not increase the number of rigs contracted, or the amount of technology deployed, to national oil companies with commensurate additional contractual risks. Risks that accompany contracts with national oil companies could ultimately have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our drilling services operating expense includes fixed costs that may not decline in proportion to decreases in rig utilization and dayrates.
Our drilling services operating expense includes all direct and indirect costs associated with the operation, maintenance and support of our drilling equipment, which is often not affected by changes in dayrates and utilization. During periods of reduced revenue and/or activity, certain of our fixed costs (such as depreciation) may not decline and often we may incur additional costs. During times of reduced utilization, reductions in costs may not be immediate as we may incur additional costs associated with maintaining and cold stacking a rig, or we may not be able to fully reduce the cost of our support operations in a particular geographic region due to the need to support the remaining drilling rigs in that region. Accordingly, a decline in revenue due to lower dayrates and/or utilization may not be offset by a corresponding decrease in drilling services and solutions expense, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Shortages of drilling equipment, supplies or other key materials could adversely affect our operations.
The drilling services and solutions business is highly cyclical. During periods of increased demand for drilling services and solutions and periods of supply chain disruption, delays in delivery and shortages of drilling equipment and supplies can occur and it may take longer for our suppliers to service drilling components. Additionally, suppliers may seek to increase prices for equipment, supplies, and services, which we are unable to pass through to our customers, either due to contractual obligations or market constraints in the drilling services and solutions business. Further, certain key rig components, parts and equipment are also either purchased from, fabricated or serviced by a limited number of vendors, which, in some cases, may be thinly capitalized and disproportionately affected by any loss of business, downturn in the energy industry, supply chain disruptions, or reduction or availability of credit. A number of disruptions and delays across the global supply chain have occurred in recent years, which have created delays in servicing key components, and a tightening of supplies and shortages in a number of areas, ranging from basic raw materials to component parts, and increasing costs, and it is possible such disruptions and delays could continue in the near term and possibly beyond. To date, as an industry leader, we have effectively managed these delays, disruptions, and shortages by engaging in near and long-term demand planning with multiple suppliers who provide and service key rig components, parts and equipment. However, if we are not able to effectively manage these disruptions and delays in the future, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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Unionization efforts and labor regulations in certain countries in which we operate could materially increase our costs or limit our flexibility.
Certain of our international employees are unionized, and efforts may be made from time to time to unionize other portions of our workforce. We may in the future be subject to strikes or work stoppages and other labor disruptions in connection with unionization efforts or renegotiation of existing contracts with unions representing our international employees. For example, worker strikes of short duration are common in Argentina and our operations have experienced such strikes in the past. Union expansion, if successful, new collective bargaining agreements or work stoppages could materially increase our labor costs, reduce our revenues or limit our operational flexibility. Further, our responses to any union organizing efforts could negatively impact our reputation and have adverse effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The impact and effects of public health crises, pandemics and epidemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Public health crises, pandemics and epidemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and fear of such events have adversely impacted and may continue to adversely impact our operations, the operations of our customers and the global economy, including the worldwide demand for oil and natural gas and the level of demand for our services. Such public health crises, pandemics and epidemics are continuously evolving, and we are not able to enumerate all potential risks to our business from such events, including the COVID-19 pandemic; however, we believe that in addition to the impacts described above, other current and potential impacts include, but are not limited to: significant volatility and disruption of the global financial markets; continued volatility of crude oil prices and related uncertainties around OPEC+ production; disruption of our operations, including suspension of drilling activities; impact to costs; loss of workers; labor shortages; supply chain disruptions or equipment shortages; logistics constraints; customer demand for our services and industry demand generally; capital spending by oil and gas companies; our liquidity; the price of our securities and trading markets with respect thereto; our ability to access capital markets; asset impairments and other accounting changes; certain of our customers experiencing bankruptcy or otherwise becoming unable to pay vendors, including us; and employee impacts from illness, travel restrictions, including border closures and other community response measures. The full extent of the impact of public health crises, pandemics and epidemics on our business operations and financial results will depend largely on future developments and various factors beyond our control, such as the duration, severity and sustained geographic spread, and the impact and effectiveness of governmental actions to contain and treat such outbreaks, including government policies and restrictions; vaccine hesitancy, vaccine mandates, and voluntary or mandatory quarantines; and the global response surrounding such uncertainties.
Improvements in or new discoveries of alternative energy technologies could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Fuel conservation measures, alternative fuel requirements and increasing consumer demand for alternatives to oil and natural gas could reduce demand for oil and natural gas. Since our business depends on the level of activity in the oil and natural gas industry, any improvement in or new discoveries of alternative energy technologies that increase the use of alternative forms of energy and reduce the demand for oil and natural gas could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business and results of operations may be adversely affected by foreign political, economic and social instability risks, foreign currency restrictions and devaluation, and various local laws associated with doing business in certain foreign countries.
We currently have drilling operations in South America (primarily Argentina and Colombia), the Middle East and Australia. In the future, we may further expand the geographic reach of our operations. As a result, we are exposed to several political, economic and other uncertainties not encountered in U.S. operations, including increased risks of social unrest, strikes, terrorism, war, kidnapping of employees, nationalization, and forced negotiation or modification of contracts; difficulty resolving disputes (including technology disputes) and enforcing contract provisions, expropriation of equipment as well as expropriation of oil and gas exploration and drilling rights; taxation policies; foreign exchange restrictions and restrictions on repatriation of income and capital; currency rate fluctuations; increased governmental ownership and regulation of the economy and industry in the markets in which we operate; economic and financial instability of national oil companies; restrictive governmental regulation; bureaucratic delays; and general hazards associated with foreign sovereignty over certain areas in which operations are conducted.
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South American countries, in particular, have historically experienced uneven periods of economic growth, as well as recession, periods of high inflation and general economic and political instability. From time to time, these risks have impacted our business. For example, in Argentina, while our dayrate is denominated in U.S. dollars, we are paid in Argentine pesos and Argentina has a history of implementing currency controls, which limit our ability to access U.S. Dollars in Argentina and repatriate cash from our Argentina operations. Argentina’s economy is currently considered highly inflationary, which is defined as cumulative inflation rates exceeding 100% in the most recent three-year period based on inflation data published by the respective governments. Nonetheless, all of our foreign operations use the U.S. dollar as the functional currency and local currency monetary assets and liabilities are remeasured into U.S. dollars with gains and losses resulting from foreign currency transactions included in current results of operations. For fiscal year 2023, we recognized aggregate foreign currency losses of $7.4 million in Argentina. Our aggregate foreign currency losses across all of our operations for fiscal years 2023, 2022 and 2021 were $6.4 million, $5.9 million and $5.3 million, respectively. However, in the future, we may incur larger currency devaluations, foreign exchange restrictions or other difficulties repatriating U.S. dollars from Argentina or elsewhere, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The Central Bank of Argentina maintains currency controls that limit our ability to access U.S. dollars in Argentina and remit cash from our Argentine operations. The execution of certain trades known as Blue Chip Swaps effectively results in a parallel U.S. dollar exchange rate. During the fiscal year ended 2023, we entered into a Blue Chip Swap transaction, which resulted in a $12.2 million loss on investment recorded in Gain on investment securities within our Consolidated Statements of Operations. As a result of the Blue Chip Swap transaction, $9.8 million of net cash was repatriated to the U.S. during the period.
Additionally, there can be no assurance that there will not be changes in local laws, regulations and administrative requirements or the interpretation thereof, which could have a material adverse effect on the profitability of our operations or on our ability to continue operations in certain areas. Because of the impact of local laws, our future operations in certain areas may be conducted through entities in which local citizens own interests and through entities (including joint ventures) in which we have limited control or hold only a minority interest or pursuant to arrangements under which we conduct operations under contract to local entities. There can be no assurance that we will in all cases be able to structure or restructure our operations to conform to local law (or the administration thereof) on terms we find acceptable.
The future occurrence of one or more international events arising from the types of risks described above could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Covenants in our debt agreements restrict our ability to engage in certain activities.
Our current debt agreements pertaining to certain long‑term unsecured debt and our unsecured revolving credit facility contain, and our future financing arrangements likely will contain, various covenants that may in certain instances restrict our ability to, among other things, incur, assume or guarantee additional indebtedness, incur liens, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets, enter into new lines of business, and merge or consolidate. In addition, our credit facility requires us to maintain a funded leverage ratio (as defined therein) of less than or equal to 50 percent and certain priority debt (as defined therein) may not exceed 17.5 percent of our net worth (as defined therein). Such restrictions may limit our ability to successfully execute our business plans, which may have adverse consequences on our operations.
We may be required to record impairment charges with respect to our drilling rigs and other assets.
We evaluate our drilling rigs and other assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Lower utilization and dayrates adversely affect our revenues and profitability. Prolonged periods of low utilization and dayrates may result in the recognition of impairment charges if future cash flow estimates, based upon information available to management at the time, indicate that the carrying value of an asset group may not be recoverable. Drilling rigs in our fleet may become impaired in the future if oil and gas prices decline or remain low for a prolonged period of time or if market conditions deteriorate or if we restructure our drilling fleet. For example, in fiscal year 2021 we recognized impairment charges of $70.9 million related to tangible assets and equipment. If we experience future negative changes in our business climate such that we determine that one or more of our asset groups are impaired, we will be required to record additional impairment charges with respect to such asset groups.
Any impairment could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial statements. The facts and circumstances included in our impairment assessments are described in Part II, Item 8—"Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."
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A downgrade in our credit ratings could negatively impact our cost of and ability to access capital.
Our ability to access capital markets or to otherwise obtain sufficient financing is enhanced by our senior unsecured debt ratings as provided by major U.S. credit rating agencies. Factors that may impact our credit ratings include debt levels, liquidity, asset quality, cost structure, commodity pricing levels, industry conditions and other considerations. A ratings downgrade could adversely impact our ability in the future to access debt markets, increase the cost of future debt, and potentially require us to post letters of credit for certain obligations.
Our ability to access capital markets could be limited.
From time to time, we may need to access capital markets to obtain financing. Our ability to access capital markets for financing could be limited by oil and gas prices, our existing capital structure, our credit ratings, the state of the economy, the health or market perceptions of the drilling and overall oil and gas industry, the liquidity of the capital markets and other factors. Many of the factors that affect our ability to access capital markets are outside of our control. No assurance can be given that we will be able to access capital markets on terms acceptable to us when required to do so, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our marketable securities may lose significant value due to credit, market and interest rate risks.
The value of our marketable securities are subject to general credit, liquidity, market and interest rate risks, which may be exacerbated by unusual events, such as global health crises and political instability. A significant loss in value of our investments would negatively impact our debt ratio and financial strength.
We may not be able to generate cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations.
Our ability to make future scheduled payments on or to refinance our debt obligations, including any future debt obligations, depends on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. We may not be able to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal and interest on our indebtedness. If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay investment decisions and capital expenditures, sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. Furthermore, these alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. Our ability to restructure or refinance our debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial position at such time. Any refinancing of our debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. Any failure to make payments of interest and principal on our outstanding indebtedness on a timely basis would be a default (if not waived) and would likely result in a reduction of our credit rating, which could harm our ability to seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness.
|LEGAL AND REGULATORY RISKS|
The physical effects of climate change and the regulation of greenhouse gases and climate change could have a negative impact on our business.
The physical and regulatory effects of climate change and a global transition to a low carbon economy could have a negative impact on our operations, our customers’ operations and the overall demand for our customers' products and services. Scientific studies have suggested that emissions of certain gases, commonly referred to as “greenhouse gases” (“GHGs”) and including carbon dioxide and methane, may be contributing to warming of the earth’s atmosphere and other climatic changes. In response to such studies, the issue of climate change and the effect of GHG emissions, in particular emissions from fossil fuels, is attracting increasing attention worldwide and there are a number of political and technological initiatives aimed at reducing the use of hydrocarbons.
We are aware of the increasing focus of local, state, regional, national and international regulatory bodies on GHG emissions and climate change issues. Legislation to regulate GHG emissions has periodically been introduced in the U.S. Congress and such legislation may be proposed or adopted in the future. In addition, the United States is currently a member of the “Paris Agreement” that requires member countries to review and “represent a progression” in their intended nationally determined GHG contributions, which set GHG emission reduction goals every five years beginning in 2020.
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The aim of the Paris Agreement is to hold the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2ºC (3.6ºF) above pre-industrial levels with efforts to limit the rise to 1.5ºC (2.7ºF) to protect against the more severe consequences of climate change forecasted by scientific studies. These consequences include increased coastal flooding, droughts and associated wildfires, heavy precipitation events, stresses on water supply and agriculture, increased poverty, and negative impacts on health. In connection with the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the “IPCC”) prepared a special report focused on the impacts of an increase in the average global temperature of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and related GHG emission pathways. The 2018 IPCC Report concludes that the measures set forth in the Paris Agreement are insufficient and that more aggressive targets and measures will be needed. According to the 2023 IPCC Report, all global modelled pathways limiting warming to 1.5ºC or 2ºC requires rapid and deep and, in most cases, immediate greenhouse gas emissions reductions in all sectors this decade.
It is not possible at this time to predict the timing and effect of climate change or whether additional GHG legislation, regulations or other measures will be adopted at the federal, state or local levels. However, more aggressive efforts by governments and non-governmental organizations to reduce GHG emissions appear likely based on the findings set forth in the IPCC Reports and any such future laws and regulations could result in increased compliance costs, additional operating restrictions or affect the demand for our customers' products and, accordingly, our services. In addition, increasing attention to the risks of climate change has resulted in an increased possibility of litigation or investigations brought by public and private entities against oil and gas companies in connection with their GHG emissions. As a result, we or our customers may become subject to court orders compelling a reduction of GHG emissions or requiring mitigation of the effects of climate change. For example, a coalition of over 20 governors of U.S. states formed the United States Climate Alliance to advance the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and several U.S. cities have committed to advance the objectives of the Paris Agreement at the state or local level as well. If we are unable to recover or pass through a significant level of our costs or are required to change our practices related to complying with climate change regulatory requirements imposed on us, it could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Further, to the extent financial markets view climate change and GHG emissions as a financial risk, this could negatively impact our cost of or access to capital. Climate change and GHG regulation could also negatively impact the drilling programs of our customers and, consequently, delay, limit or reduce the services we provide. An increased focus by the public on the reduction of GHG emissions as well as the results of the physical impacts of climate change could affect the demand for our customers’ products and have a negative effect on our business.
The federal government and certain state governments have enacted, and are expected to continue to enact, laws and regulations that mandate or provide economic incentives for the development of technologies and sources of energy other than oil and gas, such as wind and solar. Such legislation incentivizes the development, use and investment in these technologies and alternative energy sources and could accelerate the shift away from traditional oil and gas. For example, the Inflation Reduction Act ("IRA") of 2022 contains tax inducements and other provisions that incentivize investment, development, and deployment of alternative energy sources and technologies. Also, in 2022, California mandated that all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state be electric vehicles or other emissions-free models by 2035. If these future laws and regulations result in customers reducing their production of oil and gas, they could ultimately have an adverse effect on our business and prospects.
Beyond financial and regulatory impacts, the projected severe effects of climate change have the potential to directly affect our facilities and operations and those of our customers and suppliers, which could result in more frequent and severe disruptions to our business and those of our customers and suppliers, increased costs to repair damaged facilities or maintain or resume operations, and increased insurance costs. See above “—Our drilling and technology related operations are subject to a number of operational risks, including environmental and weather risks, which could expose us to significant losses and damage claims. We are not fully insured against all of these risks and our contractual indemnity provisions may not fully protect us.”
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New legislation and regulatory initiatives relating to hydraulic fracturing or other aspects of the oil and gas industry could negatively impact the drilling programs of our customers and, consequently, delay, limit or reduce the services we provide.
Several political and regulatory authorities, governmental bodies, and environmental groups devote resources to campaigns aimed at eradicating hydraulic fracking. We do not engage in any hydraulic fracturing activities. However, it is a common practice in our industry for our customers to recover natural gas and oil from shale and other formations through the use of horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of creating or expanding cracks, or fractures, in formations using water, sand and other additives pumped under high pressure into the formation. The hydraulic fracturing process is typically regulated by state oil and natural gas commissions. Several states have adopted or are considering adopting regulations that could impose more stringent permitting, public disclosure, waste disposal and/or well construction requirements on oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing operations, or otherwise seek to ban fracturing activities altogether. In addition to state laws, some local municipalities have adopted or are considering adopting land use restrictions, such as city ordinances, that may restrict or prohibit the performance of well drilling in general and/or hydraulic fracturing in particular. Members of the U.S. Congress are analyzing, and a number of federal agencies have historically been requested to review, and, under the current administration, may be requested to review again, a variety of environmental issues associated with hydraulic fracturing and the possibility of more stringent regulation. At September 30, 2023, we had approximately 24 rigs placed on federal land and four rigs in federal waters. Any new laws, regulations or permitting requirements regarding hydraulic fracturing could negatively impact the drilling programs of our customers and, consequently, delay, limit or reduce the services we provide. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has asserted federal regulatory authority pursuant to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act over certain hydraulic fracturing activities involving the use of diesel fuels. Widespread regulation significantly restricting or prohibiting hydraulic fracturing or other drilling activity by our customers could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Further, we conduct drilling activities in numerous states, including Oklahoma, where seismic activity may occur. In recent years, Oklahoma has experienced an increase in earthquakes. Although the extent of any correlation has been and remains the subject of studies of both federal and state agencies, some parties believe that there is a correlation between hydraulic fracturing related activities and the increased occurrence of seismic activity. As a result, federal and state legislatures and agencies may seek to further regulate, restrict or prohibit hydraulic fracturing activities. Increased regulation and attention given to the hydraulic fracturing process could lead to greater opposition to oil and gas production activities using hydraulic fracturing techniques, operational delays or increased operating and compliance costs in the production of oil and natural gas from shale plays, added difficulty in performing hydraulic fracturing, and potentially a decline in the completion of new oil and gas wells, which could negatively impact the drilling programs of our customers and, consequently, delay, limit or reduce the services we provide.
Our aspirations, goals and initiatives related to sustainability and emissions reduction, and our public statements and disclosures regarding them, expose us to numerous risks.
We have developed, and will continue to develop and set, goals, targets, or other objectives related to sustainability matters. Statements related to these goals, targets and objectives reflect our current plans and do not constitute a guarantee that they will be achieved. Our efforts to research, establish, accomplish, and accurately report on these goals, targets, and objectives expose us to numerous operational, reputational, financial, legal, and other risks. Our ability to achieve any stated goal, target, or objective, including with respect to emissions reduction, is subject to numerous factors and conditions, some of which are outside of our control. Examples of such factors include: (1) the extent our customers' decisions directly impact, relate to, or influence the use of our equipment that creates the emissions we report, (2) the availability and cost of low- or non-carbon-based energy sources and technologies, (3) evolving regulatory requirements affecting sustainability standards or disclosures, and (4) the availability of suppliers that can meet our sustainability and other standards. In addition, standards for tracking and reporting on sustainability matters, including climate-related matters, have not been harmonized and continue to evolve. Our processes and controls for reporting sustainability matters may not always comply with evolving and disparate standards for identifying, quantifying, and reporting such metrics, including sustainability-related disclosures that may be required of public companies by the SEC, and such standards may change over time, which could result in significant revisions to our current goals, reported progress in achieving such goals, or ability to achieve such goals in the future. Our business may also face increased scrutiny from investors and other stakeholders, including from parties that oppose environmental, social, and governance initiatives, related to our sustainability activities, including the goals, targets, and objectives that we announce, and our methodologies and timelines for pursuing them. If our sustainability practices do not meet investor or other stakeholder expectations and standards, which continue to evolve, our reputation, our ability to attract or retain employees, and our attractiveness as an investment or business partner could be negatively affected. Similarly, our failure or perceived failure to pursue or fulfill our sustainability-focused goals, targets, and objectives, to comply with ethical, environmental, or other standards, regulations, or expectations, or to satisfy various reporting standards with respect to these matters, within the timelines we announce, or at all, could adversely affect our business or reputation, as well as expose us to government enforcement actions and private litigation.
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Failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or foreign anti‑bribery legislation could adversely affect our business.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and similar anti‑bribery laws in other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010, generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. We operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti‑bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices and impact our business. Although we have programs in place requiring compliance with anti‑bribery legislation, any failure to comply with the FCPA or other anti‑bribery legislation could subject us to civil and criminal penalties or other sanctions, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operation. In addition, investors could negatively view potential violations, inquiries or allegations of misconduct under the FCPA or similar laws, which could adversely affect our reputation and the market for our shares. We could also face fines, sanctions and other penalties from authorities in the relevant foreign jurisdictions, including prohibition of our participating in or curtailment of business operations in those jurisdictions and the seizure of drilling rigs or other assets.
Our business is subject to complex and evolving laws and regulations regarding privacy, data security and consumer protection.
The regulatory environment surrounding data privacy, data security and consumer protection is rapidly evolving and subject to constant change. New laws and regulations in this space pose increasingly complex compliance challenges and potentially elevate our costs. In the normal course of business, we and our third-party partners may collect, process, and store data that is subject to those specific laws and regulations governing personal data.
Complying with the varying regulatory requirements outlined in foreign, federal, state, and local regulations is becoming increasingly complex, and could increase the costs and difficulty of compliance. Furthermore, violations of applicable data protection laws, including but not limited to the GDPR and the CCPA as amended by the CPRA, as well as other U.S. sector-specific and new comprehensive state data privacy laws, could result in significant penalties.
The GDPR applies to entities operating in the EU that process personal data and entities outside the EU that process personal data to provide goods or services to EU residents, directly or indirectly through vendors and subcontractors. As interpretation and enforcement of the GDPR evolves, it creates a range of new compliance obligations, which could cause us to incur costs and require us to change our business practices in a manner that does not align with our business objectives. Failure to comply could result in significant penalties of up to a maximum of four percent of our total global turnover of the preceding financial year or up to €20.0 million, which may materially adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations, and revenue.
The CCPA, which came into effect on January 1, 2020, was amended by the CPRA, which went into effect January 1, 2023. The CCPA and CPRA give California residents certain rights in relation to their personal information, and impose obligations on certain entities that do business in California to protect those rights, which may apply to us. As interpretation and enforcement of the CCPA and CPRA evolve, new compliance obligations are created, which could cause us to incur costs and shift our business practices in a manner that does not align with our business objectives. The CCPA, presently enforceable (as CPRA enforcement has been delayed until July 1, 2023, and enforcement is not retroactive), provides for civil penalties of up to $7,500 per intentional violation and $2,500 per unintentional violation. Additionally, California residents whose personal information has been impacted by a Security Incident as a result of the entity’s failure to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices have been granted a private right of action, which could result in damages of up to $750 per incident, where the entity failed to encrypt or redact personal information. The possibility for these significant financial penalties for noncompliance may materially adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations, and revenue. Similar legislation has been adopted in Virginia, Colorado, and Connecticut, which have gone into effect, and Utah which will go into effect at the end of 2023.
Non-compliance with these and other data privacy, data security, and consumer protection laws could also expose us to regulatory investigations, which could require significant expenses for resolution and potentially result in fines and prospective relief, necessitating additional resources for implementation. In addition, regulators may issue orders to stop processing personal data, which could disrupt operations. We could also be subject to litigation from persons or corporations allegedly affected by violations of these laws. It is also possible we could be subject to a Security Incident, which in addition to potential losses from fraudulent wire transfers, are costly to investigate and remediate and could result in a violation of data privacy and consumer protection laws (in addition to data security laws). Any violation of these laws or harm to our reputation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, reputation, or results of operations and prospects.
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Government policies, mandates, and regulations specifically affecting the energy sector and related industries, regulatory policies or matters that affect a variety of businesses, taxation polices, and political instability could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Energy production and trade flows are subject to government policies, mandates, regulations, and trade agreements. Governmental policies affecting the energy industry, such as taxes, tariffs, duties, price controls, subsidies, incentives, foreign exchange rates, economic sanctions and import and export restrictions, can influence the viability and volume of production of certain commodities, the volume and types of imports and exports, whether unprocessed or processed commodity products are traded, and industry profitability. For example, the decision of the U.S. government to impose tariffs on certain Chinese imports and the resulting retaliation by the Chinese government imposing a 25 percent tariff on U.S. liquefied natural gas have disrupted aspects of the energy market. Disruptions of this sort can affect the price of oil and natural gas and may cause our customers to change their plans for exploration and production levels, in turn reducing the demand for our services. Moreover, many countries, including the United States, control the import and export of certain goods, services and technology and impose related import and export recordkeeping and reporting obligations. Governments also may impose economic sanctions against certain countries, persons and other entities that may restrict or prohibit transactions involving such countries, persons and entities. In particular, U.S. sanctions are targeted against certain countries that are heavily involved in the petroleum and petrochemical industries, which includes drilling activities.
Future government policies may adversely affect the supply of, demand for, and prices of oil and natural gas, restrict our ability to do business in existing and target markets, and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The laws and regulations concerning import and export activity, recordkeeping and reporting, including customs, export controls and economic sanctions, are complex and constantly changing. These laws and regulations may be enacted, amended, enforced or interpreted in a manner materially impacting our operations. Ongoing economic challenges may increase some governments’ efforts to enact, enforce, amend or interpret laws and regulations as a method to increase revenue. Shipments can be delayed and denied import or export for a variety of reasons, some of which are outside our control and some of which may result from failure to comply with existing legal and regulatory regimes. Shipping delays or denials could cause unscheduled operational downtime. Any failure to comply with applicable legal or regulatory requirements governing international trade could also result in criminal and civil penalties and sanctions, such as fines, imprisonment, debarment from government contracts, seizure of shipments and loss of import and export privileges.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be affected by political instability and by changes in other governmental policies, mandates, regulations, and trade agreements, including monetary, fiscal and environmental policies, laws, regulations, acquisition approvals, and other activities of governments, agencies, and similar organizations. These risks include, but are not limited to, changes in a country’s or region’s economic or political conditions, local labor conditions and regulations, safety and environmental regulations, reduced protection of intellectual property rights, changes in the regulatory or legal environment, restrictions on currency exchange activities, currency exchange fluctuations, burdensome taxes and tariffs, enforceability of legal agreements and judgments, adverse tax, administrative agency or judicial outcomes, and regulation or taxation of greenhouse gases. International risks and uncertainties, including changing social and economic conditions as well as terrorism, political hostilities, and war, could limit our ability to transact business in these markets and could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Legal claims and litigation could have a negative impact on our business.
The nature of our business makes us susceptible to legal proceedings and governmental investigations from time to time. We design much of our own equipment and fabricate and upgrade such equipment in facilities that we operate. We also design and develop our own technology. If such equipment or technology fails to perform as expected, or if we fail to maintain or operate the equipment properly, there could be personal injuries, property damage, and environmental contamination, which could result in claims against us. Our ownership and use of proprietary technology and equipment could also result in infringement of intellectual property claims against us. See above “— Technology disputes and limitations on our ability to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights could negatively impact our costs, revenues, and any competitive advantage we hold." The Company also owns and operates a large fleet of motor vehicles, which creates an increased exposure to motor vehicle accidents. Also, we may be subject, and have been subject in the past, to litigation resulting from accidents involving motor vehicles. These lawsuits have resulted, and may result in the future, in the payment of substantial settlements or damages and increases in our insurance costs. In addition, during periods of depressed market conditions we may be subject to an increased risk of our customers, vendors, former employees and others initiating legal proceedings against us. Further, actions or decisions we have taken or may take as a consequence of COVID-19 may result in investigations, litigation or legal claims against us. Lawsuits or claims against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any litigation or claims, even if fully indemnified or insured, could negatively impact our reputation among our customers and the public, and make it more difficult for us to compete effectively or obtain adequate insurance in the future.
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Additional tax liabilities, limitations on our use of net operating losses and tax credits and/or our significant net deferred tax liability could affect our financial condition, income tax provision, net income, and cash flows.
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous other jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities. In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We are regularly audited by tax authorities. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of tax audits and any related litigation could be materially different than what is reflected in income tax provisions and accruals. An audit or litigation could materially affect our financial position, income tax provision, net income, or cash flows in the period or periods challenged. Tax rates in the various jurisdictions in which our subsidiaries are organized and conduct their operations may change significantly as a result of political or economic factors beyond our control. It is also possible that future changes to tax laws (including tax treaties in any of the jurisdictions that we operate in) could impact our ability to realize the tax savings recorded to date. Our ability to benefit from our deferred tax assets depends on us having sufficient future taxable income to utilize our net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards before they expire. In addition, Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (“Section 382”), generally imposes an annual limitation on the amount of net operating losses and other pre-change tax attributes (such as tax credits) that may be used to offset taxable income by a corporation that has undergone an “ownership change” (as determined under Section 382). An ownership change generally occurs if one or more shareholders (or groups of shareholders) that are each deemed to own at least 5 percent of our stock change their ownership by more than 50 percentage points over their lowest ownership percentage during a rolling three-year period. As of September 30, 2023, we have not experienced an ownership change and, therefore, utilization of our applicable tax attributes were not subject to an annual limitation (except for an immaterial portion thereof that we inherited in connection with an acquisition during 2017). However, if we were to experience ownership changes in the future as a result of subsequent shifts in our stock ownership, our ability to use certain pre-change tax attributes could potentially accelerate or permanently increase our future tax liabilities. Additionally, our future effective tax rates could be adversely affected by changes in tax laws (including tax treaties) or their interpretation. For example, the IRA, passed on August 16, 2022, included a 15 percent corporate minimum tax applicable to tax years beginning after December 31, 2022. We do not believe the corporate minimum tax will materially impact our effective tax rate or tax liability. Also, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) released Pillar Two model rules defining a 15% global minimum tax rate for large multinational corporations. The OECD continues to release additional guidance and countries are implementing legislation with widespread adoption of the Pillar Two Framework expected in the near future. We are in the process of evaluating the potential impacts of Pillar Two. While we do not currently expect Pillar Two to have a material impact on our effective tax rate, our analysis is ongoing and incomplete, and it is possible Pillar Two could have a material adverse effect on our tax liability.
Our deferred tax liability associated with property, plant and equipment is significant, which could materially increase the amount of cash income taxes that we pay in the future and, thus, adversely affect our cash flows. Our future capital expenditures, our results of operations and changes in income tax laws could significantly impact the timing of the reversal of our deferred tax liabilities and the timing and amount of our future cash income taxes. While management intends to minimize our income taxes payable in future years to the extent possible, the amount and timing of cash income taxes ultimately paid are based on the aforementioned factors as well as others and are subject to change.
Failure to comply with or changes to governmental and environmental laws could adversely affect our business.
Many aspects of our operations are subject to various laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we operate, including those relating to drilling practices and comprehensive and frequently changing laws and regulations relating to the safety and to the protection of human health and the environment. Environmental laws apply to the oil and gas industry including those regulating air emissions, discharges to water, and the transport, storage, use, treatment, disposal and remediation of, and exposure to, solid and hazardous wastes and materials. These laws can have a material adverse effect on the drilling industry, including our operations, and compliance with such laws may require us to make significant capital expenditures, such as the installation of costly equipment or operational changes, and may affect the resale values or useful lives of our drilling rigs. If we fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we could be exposed to substantial administrative, civil and criminal penalties, delays in permitting or performance of projects and, in some cases, injunctive relief. Violations of environmental laws may also result in liabilities for personal injuries, property and natural resource damage and other costs and claims. In addition, environmental laws and regulations in the United States impose a variety of requirements on “responsible parties” related to the prevention of oil spills and liability for damages from such spills. As an owner and operator of drilling rigs, we may be deemed to be a responsible party under these laws and regulations.
Additional legislation or regulation and changes to existing legislation and regulation may reasonably be anticipated, and the effect thereof on our operations cannot be predicted. The expansion of the scope of laws or regulations protecting the environment has accelerated in recent years, particularly outside the United States, and we expect this trend to continue. To the extent new laws are enacted or other governmental actions are taken that prohibit or restrict drilling in areas where we operate or impose additional environmental protection requirements that result in increased costs to the oil and gas industry, in general, or the drilling industry, in particular, our business or prospects could be materially adversely affected.
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|RISKS RELATED TO OUR COMMON STOCK AND CORPORATE STRUCTURE|
We may reduce or suspend our dividend in the future.
We have paid a quarterly dividend for many years and commencing in fiscal 2023 paid a quarterly supplemental dividend in addition to the established base dividend as part of a supplemental capital allocation plan. The supplemental capital allocation plan is refreshed on an annual basis and the supplemental dividends are proposed and approved on a quarterly basis with record and payment dates that coincide with the base dividends that are also proposed and approved on a quarterly basis. Our most recent quarterly base dividend declared was $0.25 per share. Subsequent to September 30, 2023, we also declared a supplemental quarterly dividend of $0.17 per share as part of our fiscal 2024 supplemental shareholder return plan announced in October 2023. In the future, our Board of Directors may, without advance notice, determine to reduce or suspend our dividends in order to maintain our financial flexibility and best position the Company for long‑term success. The declaration and amount of future dividends is at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, prospects, industry conditions, capital requirements and other factors and restrictions our Board of Directors deems relevant. The likelihood that dividends will be reduced or suspended is increased during periods of prolonged market weakness or uncertainty, such as the downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price collapse in 2020. In addition, our ability to pay dividends may be limited by agreements governing our indebtedness now or in the future. There can be no assurance that we will not reduce our dividend or that we will continue to pay a dividend in the future.
The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile, and investors may not be able to resell shares at or above the price paid.
The trading price of our common stock may be volatile. Securities markets worldwide experience significant price and volume fluctuations. This market volatility, as well as other general economic, market or political conditions, could reduce the market price of our common stock in spite of our operating or financial performance. The following factors, in addition to other factors described in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this Form 10-K, may have a significant impact on the market price of our common stock:
•changes in customer needs, expectations or trends and our ability to maintain relationships with key customers;
•our ability to implement our business strategy;
•changes in our capital structure, including the issuance of additional debt;
•public announcements (including the timing of these announcements) regarding our business, financial performance and prospects or new products or services, product enhancements, technological advances or strategic actions, such as acquisitions, restructurings or significant contracts, by our competitors or us;
•trading activity in our stock, including portfolio transactions in our stock by us, our executive officers and directors, and significant stockholders or trading activity that results from the ordinary course rebalancing of stock indices in which we may be included;
•short-interest in our common stock, which could be significant from time to time;
•our inclusion in, or removal from, any stock indices;
•investor perception of us and the industry and markets in which we operate;
•increased focus by the investment community on sustainability practices at our company and in the oil and natural gas industry generally;
•changes in earnings estimates or buy/sell recommendations by securities analysts;
•whether or not we meet earnings estimates of securities analysts who follow us;
•regulatory or legal developments in the United States and foreign countries where we operate; and
•general financial, domestic, international, economic, and market conditions, including overall fluctuations in the U.S. equity markets.
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Certain provisions of our corporate governing documents could make an acquisition of our company more difficult.
The following provisions of our charter documents, as currently in effect, and Delaware law could discourage potential proposals to acquire us, delay or prevent a change in control of us or limit the price that investors may be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock:
•our certificate of incorporation permits our Board of Directors to issue and set the terms of preferred stock and to adopt amendments to our bylaws;
•our bylaws contain restrictions regarding the right of stockholders to nominate directors and to submit proposals to be considered at stockholder meetings;
•our bylaws restrict the right of stockholders to call a special meeting of stockholders; and
•we are subject to provisions of Delaware law which restrict us from engaging in any of a broad range of business transactions with an “interested stockholder” for a period of three years following the date such stockholder became classified as an interested stockholder.
|The choice of forum provision in our bylaws could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain what such stockholders’ believe to be a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees.|
Our amended and restated bylaws provide that unless we consent to the selection of an alternative forum (a) the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director, officer, stockholder, employee or agent to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us or any director, officer, stockholder, employee or agent arising out of or relating to any provision of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware the (“DGCL”), our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws, or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us or any director, officer, stockholder, employee or agent governed by the internal affairs doctrine of the State of Delaware. If the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware lacks subject matter jurisdiction over any such action or proceeding, the sole and exclusive forum for such action or proceeding will be another state or federal court located within the State of Delaware; and (b) the sole and exclusive forum for any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act will be the federal district courts of the United States of America. This exclusive forum provision is not intended to apply to claims arising under the Exchange Act. While the Delaware Supreme Court has upheld the validity of similar provisions under the DGCL, there is uncertainty as to whether a court in another state would enforce such a forum selection provision. Our exclusive forum provision does not relieve us of our duties to comply with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder, and our stockholders will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with these laws, rules and regulations.
This choice of forum provision may subject a stockholder to increased costs to bring a claim and limit a stockholder's ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that he, she or it believes to be favorable for disputes with the Company or its directors, officers or other employees or agents, which may discourage such lawsuits. It is possible that a court could find these exclusive forum provisions inapplicable or unenforceable with respect to one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, and we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and result in a diversion of the time and resources of our management and Board of Directors.
Public and investor sentiment towards climate change, fossil fuels and other ESG matters could adversely affect our cost of capital and the price of our common stock.
There have been efforts within the investment community (including investment advisors, investment fund managers, sovereign wealth funds, public pension funds, universities and individual investors) to promote the divestment of, or limit investment in, the stock of companies in the oil and gas industry. There has also been pressure on lenders and other financial services companies to limit or curtail financing of companies in the oil and gas industry. Because we operate within the oil and gas industry, if these efforts continue or expand, our stock price and our ability to raise capital may be negatively impacted.
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Some members of the investment community have increased their focus on ESG practices and disclosures by public companies, including practices and disclosures related to climate change and sustainability, DE&I initiatives, and heightened governance standards. As a result, we may continue to face pressure regarding our ESG disclosures and practices. See above "—Our aspirations, goals and initiatives related to sustainability and emissions reduction, and our public statements and disclosures regarding them, expose us to numerous risks." Additionally, members of the investment community may screen companies such as ours for ESG disclosures and performance before investing in our stock and many large institutional investors have committed to allocating a percentage of their investment products towards ESG investments. With respect to any of these investors, our ESG disclosures and efforts may not satisfy the investor requirements or their requirements may not be made known to us. If we or our securities are unable to meet the ESG standards or investment criteria set by these investors and funds, we may lose investors or investors may allocate a portion of their capital away from us, our cost of capital may increase, and our stock price may be negatively impacted.