For people in the state of Alaska, the name Nabors Industries sparks feelings of intense loyalty and nostalgia. Perhaps no other company in the state’s history has contributed more to individual Alaskan citizens than Nabors Industries. Through its development of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska, Nabors Industries has contributed mightily to the state’s coffers and to the general state of its economic prosperity.
However, in the contiguous 48 states, Nabors Industries slowly begin to lose its brand luster throughout the decades of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Throughout this era, the company was badly mismanaged, eventually leading to its insolvency and bankruptcy in 1988. While in receivership, the company began the search for the right man to lead it out of bankruptcy and into the 21st century. They found him in Tony Petrello, a mergers and acquisitions attorney with the firm Baker McKenzie, who had been working on a number of aspects of the bankruptcy case.
Under Petrello’s leadership, the company began to take a different tack. Petrello began focusing on the development of high-tech directional drilling equipment and other equipment that would be able to tap into the market for hard oil extraction. Throughout North America, there were many reserves of oil that had been, until that time, completely left alone. The reason for this was simple. They were viewed as economically unviable. The extreme difficulty of reaching oil reserves within deep shale deposits was simply too much to justify the cost of the equipment.
But Nabors Industries began to change that. With its Sundowner drilling rig, Nabors Industries enabled sites to be set up and torn down within 24 hours, leading to massive flexibility that had never been seen before. Technology such as this has paved the way for the extraction of North American shale and tar sands oil resources.
These are just some of the things that Petrello has done to prove his merit as CEO of one of the country’s largest oil extraction and drilling equipment firms.