Integrated Drilling Equipment
With a customer base that spreads from the Americas to the Middle East and Eurasia, Integrated Drilling Equipment (IDE) has been providing rig manufacturing and other services to the drilling industry for more than 30 years, and the company continues to find new opportunities. The company’s preparations to manufacture rigs for use in Mexico and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico indicate that IDE has the right combination of reliability and innovation to keep it at the forefront of serving the drilling industry for years to come.
Founded in 1981 by CEO Steve Cope, the company that is now IDE started out as a supplier and installer of lighting and electrical wiring on drilling rigs. Over time, the company expanded its services to include product lines such as motor controls and generator controls, as well as the construction of complete drilling rigs. From its 30-acre yard in Spring, Texas, IDE is capable of manufacturing land and offshore rigs that it says provide operators with greater efficiency and overall better performance than its competitors’ rigs.
Even though IDE goes toe-to-toe with some of the biggest manufacturers in the industry, Cope says its unique combination of attributes gives it a true advantage over many of them. “I think by and large what distinguishes us from the competition is our innovative designs, our ability to respond on short notice for our customers and some of the niche markets that we have designed our products to go in, such as shale plays,” Cope says.
The Right Tools
One of the most visible examples of the company’s strength on the engineering and fabrication side of the business is the innovative design of its rigs. Specifically, Cope points to the company’s Self-Elevating Drilling System (SEDS) and Sparta rigs. These rigs are designed to rig up at ground level and then elevate into position, which reduces and in some cases eliminates the need for cranes. Cope says these rigs have proven to be very popular with operators working in extreme environments such as the mountainous Marcellus shale play, in which getting cranes to and from the well site often proves to be extremely difficult.
The company’s ability to manufacture rigs like the SEDS line and Sparta line that are geared toward working in difficult environments will only become a greater asset for IDE in the future. Cope says the emergence of pad drilling and horizontal drilling in shale plays has become a major driver of activity and innovation in the rig industry, helping push more operators to seek out the type of equipment IDE specializes in. “That has changed the dynamics of the drilling industry as well as the equipment used,” he says.
The company’s current work in Mexico reflects that, as Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company, Pemex, has started a three-year, $200 million program to explore certain sites for shale gas opportunities. Cope says Pemex may need between 80 and 100 land rigs over the next five years to take advantage of shale gas, as well as additional offshore rigs. He says the opportunity is a good one for IDE to take advantage of, given its ability to produce innovative rigs like the SEDS and Sparta. “The combination of IDE in Texas and a joint venture in Mexico to manufacture these rigs is going to be very important for us going forward,” Cope says.
Along with the company’s rig manufacturing capabilities, the service side of IDE also plays a large role in its success. The company has been performing rig refurbishing services for the industry since its inception, and COO and President Richard Dodson says IDE has more than 150 people today capable of being dispatched around the world at a moment’s notice to serve customers in the field.
From rig overhauls and repairs to installations and upgrades, Dodson says IDE has become an expert at helping customers get the most out of their equipment. “We’ve become the benchmark by which others are compared,” he says. “Service is a core part of our DNA as a company.”