Specializing in drilling, completion, work-over and equipment rental oilfield services, Tuscany International Drilling Inc. has grown exponentially since initiating its initial public offering (IPO) in spring 2010. The Calgary-based company was founded in 2008 by Executive Chairman Walter Dawson and is presently focused on providing state-of-the-art drilling and work-over equipment to customers operating in South America and central Africa.
Since the IPO, Tuscany made two strategic acquisitions that have expedited its growth. In May 2011, the company acquired Brazilian drilling and work-over company Drillfor Brazil. That September, it acquired Caroil SAS, the drilling and work-over subsidiary of French exploration and production company Maurel & Prom. The acquisitions enabled Tuscany to increase its rig count to 41.
Of the 41 rigs in Tuscany’s current drilling program, 11 are in Africa and the remainder are in South America, specifically Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia, as well as Trinidad. “When we built the company, we wanted to bring the latest and greatest technology and equipment,” says Kiel Clark, president – South America. Approximately half of the rigs are less than five years old – the rest are being upgraded with new technologies to make them highly mobile and more efficient.
Many of Tuscany’s drilling rigs are tailor-made for operating in emerging markets, such as South America and central Africa, Clark says. For instance, some of its rigs were designed to maneuver through narrow roads and bridges, and its larger rigs were designed with fast-moving capabilities.
In December, Tuscany announced it signed a one-year contract with Petrobras with an option for an additional year for its D6 rig in Brazil. This is the company’s third contract with Petrobras and its sixth rig working in Brazil. Rig D6 was acquired through Tuscany’s acquisition of Drillfor, and has since undergone extensive repair and refurbishment.
In addition, Tuscany is using two state-of-the-art, self-erecting drilling rigs to drill 3,000-meter wells in Brazil’s remote Solimoes Basin for HRT Oil & Gas. The 1,500-horsepower, 6,610-pound rigs were designed to break down and be transported by helicopter to remote regions of the world.
“High oil and gas prices are making remote areas attractive for exploration, and as a result, we are seeing more demand for heli-transportable rigs,” Clark notes. “Working in the Amazon Rainforest in northern Brazil, the only site access is via helicopter. Without these types of rigs, you don’t have a chance to provide service.”
A significant amount of expertise is required to drill in the Amazon Rainforest, he adds. Tuscany must drill through approximately 1,000 meters of hard basalt, and is finding success utilizing the latest in drilling technology and automation. Adding to the challenge is the fact that the wells are being drilled in a remote location that receives more than 100 inches of rainfall each year, typically between the months of October and June.
Safety of oilfield workers is a priority in the drilling industry, and Tuscany always puts safety at the forefront of its operations, Clark says. “Safety is something we take as seriously as anything else in our company,” he asserts. “We have approximately 2,000 employees, and we want them all to go home to their families at the end of the day. We have a vigorous health, safety, environment and quality program.”
Another advantage Tuscany has over other drilling companies worldwide is its experienced management team, Clark maintains. “That’s one of our greatest strengths,” he adds. “The core management team has many years’ experience in drilling and oil- and gas-related fields. We have spent a considerable amount of time handpicking the best people in the industry to manage the business and the areas in which we operate. This has paid off in dividends because, at the end of the day, we have excellent client relationships which results in the consideration of Tuscany as being a preferred service provider.” EMI