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EnscoRowan plc
Public limited company
Traded asNYSEESV
S&P 400 component[1]
IndustryPetroleum industry
Founded1975; 44 years ago (1975)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom (incorporation)
San Felipe Plaza
Houston, Texas, USA (operational)
Key people
Paul E. Rowsey III, Chairman
Carl G. Trowell, CEO & President
Jonathan H. Baksht, CFO
ServicesOffshore drilling
Well drilling
RevenueDecrease $1.705 billion (2018)
Decrease -$0.639 billion (2018)
Total assetsDecrease $14.023 billion (2018)
Total equityDecrease $8.091 billion (2018)
Number of employees
4,400 (2018)
Footnotes / references
ENSCO DS6 Drillship taking on fuel bunkers in Walvis Bay, Namibia during the transit to Angola and start of a contract with BP.

EnscoRowan plc is an offshore drilling contractor headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the largest offshore drilling and well drilling company in the world, and owns 82 rigs, including 54 offshore jackup rigs, 16 drillships, and 12 semi-submersible platform drilling rigs. In 2018, 15% of its revenues came from Total S.A., 11% of its revenues came from Saudi Aramco, 8% of its revenues came from Petrobras, and 7% of its revenues came from BP.[2]


EnscoRowan's predecessor company, Blocker Energy Corporation, was incorporated in 1975 by longtime oilman John R. Blocker.

After graduating from Texas A&M in 1948, Blocker worked on a Gulf of Mexico oil rig for several years. In 1954, he established a South Texas drilling company with his father. When an oversupply of oil on the market crippled the contract drilling business, the company was dissolved. In 1958 Blocker went to work for Dresser Industries as operations manager for the oil equipment division in Argentina and Venezuela, a natural fit because he had grown up in South America, learning Spanish before English. In 1965, he moved to Dresser's Houston office and ultimately rose to the level of a senior vice-president.

In 1975, after the 1973 oil crisis, John Blocker bought Choya Energy, a six-rig contract drilling company based in Alice, Texas, and renamed the company Blocker Energy.[3]

Blocker took advantage of his South American experience to position the company in the international market, believing it was less risky than the United States market, which had 800 to 900 competitors. Blocker Energy took on $44 million in debt to expand rapidly. To fund expansion and pay down debt, the company became a public company via an initial public offering.

By 1980, the company had 1,700 employees worldwide, including 211 at its Texas headquarters. In the early 1980s, Blocker, along with many other oil-related companies, thought the price of oil could only go higher. In 1981 and early 1982, the company borrowed heavily to expand its rig fleet to 54 rigs. However, in late 1982, the price of oil plunged and, to avoid bankruptcy, Blocker Energy restructured, giving 64% of the company to its banks in exchange for $240 million in debt forgiveness. By 1983, the company was only operating 6 rigs, although that number increased to 24 in 1984. By 1985, the worldwide employee count of the company was down to 500.[3]

Blocker Energy lost nearly $3 million in 1985 and needed capital. Richard Rainwater's BEC Ventures made an investment in the company in 1986 and chose Carl F. Thorne to run the company, which he did until his retirement 20 years later.[4]

In 1988, the company acquired Golden Gulf Offshore Inc. and its ten boats that supplied offshore oil rigs and another four vessels that moved the rigs' massive anchors for $64 million in cash and stock.[5]

In 1990, the company bought Penrod Holding Corporation out of bankruptcy and adding 19 rigs to its fleet. Penrod was owned by the Hunt family.[6] The deal was orchestrated by Richard Rainwater who owned 21% of the company at that time.[7]

In 2010, the company moved its headquarters to London and become a UK-registered company.[8][9]

In 2011, the company acquired Pride International for $7.3 billion.[10] The acquisition provided the company access to the Brazil and West African markets, and diversified its asset base from being largely jack-up rigs to include drillship and semi-submersible rigs. As a result of the acquisition, the company closed its Dallas office and consolidated into its Houston office.[11]

In 2013, the company was added to the S&P 500 Index[12] but it was removed from the index in 2016.[1]

In 2015, Petrobras alleged bribery in the negotiations of the DS-5 rig contract with Pride International in 2008 before its acquisition by the company. In 2016, Petrobras terminated the contract for the rig.[13]

In 2017, the company acquired Atwood Oceanics.[14]

In 2019, Ensco merged with Rowan to form EnscoRowan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hologic, Centene Set to Join the S&P 500; Others to Join S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600" (Press release). PR Newswire. March 24, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Ensco plc 2018 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  3. ^ a b Trounson, Rebecca (October 24, 2014). "Sunny forecast hid rough waters". Houston Chronicle.
  4. ^ "Friends return Richard Rainwater's investment in them as billionaire battles degenerative neurological condition". The Dallas Morning News. November 26, 2011.
  5. ^ "The Age Profile and Future of the OSV Fleet" (PDF). 1999.
  6. ^ "Energy Service, R.D. Smith complete closing of Penrod Drilling". United Press International. October 26, 1990.
  7. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (March 29, 1990). "Talking Deals; Group May Gain Control of Penrod". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Williams, Christopher C. (January 12, 2013). "Drilling Deep for Value". Barron's.
  9. ^ "Ensco Plc's CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript". TheStreet.com. February 24, 2011.
  10. ^ "Ensco plc Completes Acquisition of Pride International" (Press release). Business Wire. May 31, 2011.
  11. ^ Joyce, Matt (June 9, 2011). "Ensco to close Dallas office, conduct layoffs". American City Business Journals.
  12. ^ "Ensco plc Set to Join the S&P 500" (Press release). PR Newswire. July 26, 2012.
  13. ^ Stauffer, Caroline; Gayathri, Amrutha (January 6, 2016). "Petrobras ends rig contract with Ensco over bribe allegations". Reuters.
  14. ^ "Ensco plc Completes Acquisition of Atwood Oceanics" (Press release). Business Wire. October 6, 2017.

External links[edit]