By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor
William Andrew “Andy” Hendricks, President and CEO of Patterson-UTI, has been named IADC 2021 Contractor of the Year. The annual award, which was established in 1988 to recognize an individual drilling contractor’s outstanding lifetime achievement in technical innovation, safety and economic efficiency within the drilling industry, is the only industry award reserved exclusively for drilling contractors.
“It’s humbling… Nobody gets an award like this without help along the way, and it’s been a team effort,” Mr Hendricks said upon receiving the award at the 2021 IADC Annual General Meeting in Dallas on 5 November. “We’re blessed with a great team at Patterson-UTI. We’ve accomplished a lot of things and we still have some things that we’re going to accomplish, so it’s still an exciting time for us.”
Mr Hendricks, who served as IADC Chairman in 2017, was appointed to his current position at Patterson-UTI in October 2012 after a five-month stint as the company’s COO. Prior to that, he worked for Schlumberger in a variety of leadership positions, including as President of Schlumberger Drilling and Measurements from May 2010 to March 2012. He joined Schlumberger in 1988 after working for Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company (now Diamond Offshore). He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1987.
In his acceptance speech at the Annual General Meeting, Mr Hendricks sounded an optimistic note about the drilling industry’s immediate future.
“There were a lot of predictions when we went through the COVID downturn that the demand wouldn’t recover to where it was before, but it certainly has, and in some ways it’s already surpassed where it was pre-COVID,” Mr Hendricks said. “Here we are at close to $80/bbl. My prediction is, over the near term, we’re all going to be very busy. The fundamentals are set up that way. There’s nothing that says things are going to change and bring oil prices down anytime soon.”
Over the long term, Mr Hendricks noted the potential impact of the energy transition on drilling, saying that renewables will likely take up a larger share of the energy mix moving forward. However, he touted the industry’s ability to adapt to change, and said that oil and gas will continue to play an important part in meeting the world’s energy needs.
“I’m very proud of what we do as an industry,” he said. “We produce something that the world needs, a resource that the world still counts on to drive that energy change. It’s OK to be proud of the work that we do and the product that we produce.”