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Trent Latshaw recognized as 2018 IADC Contractor of the Year

President of Latshaw Drilling: Passion for drilling industry began at an early age and has not wavered since

By Amy Rose, IADC Director of External Relations

In recognition of his years of service to both IADC and the drilling industry, Trent Latshaw, President of Latshaw Drilling Company, was presented with the 2018 IADC Contractor of the Year award during the IADC Annual General Meeting in New Orleans, La., in November.

Trent Latshaw was only 19 when he decided that he wanted to own a drilling company. By age 27, he had founded Latshaw Drilling Company.

Trent Latshaw was only 19 when he decided that he wanted to own a drilling company. By age 27, he had founded Latshaw Drilling Company.

The award, sponsored by National Oilwell Varco (NOV), was established in 1988 to recognize individual drilling contractors and their outstanding lifetime achievements in technical innovation, safety and economic efficiency within the drilling industry. It is the only award in the industry reserved solely for drilling contractors, and all recipients are nominated and selected by IADC drilling contractor members.

“Trent Latshaw is truly one of a kind in the oilfield,” said Loren Singletary, NOV Chief Investor & Industry Relations Officer, in his introductory remarks recognizing Mr Latshaw with the award. “With his belief in his people, his principles and his country, Trent continues to push Latshaw Drilling Company to new levels. He serves as a mentor to many in the industry, as an adviser to the Texas A&M Petroleum Engineering Department and is an active and vocal member of IADC. He is always trying to work and improve our industry. Congratulations to one of our own, one of the finest men I’ve had the pleasure to call a friend.”

Mr Latshaw began his career in 1975 after graduating from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering. He first went to work for Parker Drilling in Alaska as a roughneck, motorman, derrickman and relief driller, both on land and offshore. He then worked for ARCO Alaska as drilling engineer in its offshore district, covering the Gulf of Alaska and Cook Inlet.

In 1982, at the age of 27, Mr Latshaw founded Latshaw Drilling Company, building two new 20,000- to 25,000-ft diesel-electric/SCR land rigs.

top: Trent Latshaw (second from left) accepted his IADC Contractor of the Year award at the 2018 IADC Annual General Meeting in New Orleans. From left are Loren Singletary, NOV Chief Investor & Industry Relations Officer; Mr Latshaw; IADC President Jason McFarland; and Bill Crabbe, NOV Chief Health, Safety and Environment Officer.

Trent Latshaw (second from left) accepted his IADC Contractor of the Year award at the 2018 IADC Annual General Meeting in New Orleans. From left are Loren Singletary, NOV Chief Investor & Industry Relations Officer; Mr Latshaw; IADC President Jason McFarland; and Bill Crabbe, NOV Chief Health, Safety and Environment Officer.

“I’ve been in the industry for 45 years now… Most 18-year-olds don’t have a clue as to what they want to do with their lives. I don’t know why I was different, but at 19 years old, I decided that I wanted to own a drilling company, and everything I did from that point on was working toward that,” Mr Latshaw said.

During the downturn of the mid-’80s to the early 2000s, he shifted gears and began acquiring repossessed drilling rigs and equipment from financial institutions and at auctions. Between 1986 and 1992, he bought 10 complete drilling rigs and other major components that had a new replacement cost of over $100 million for just $5 million. In 1996-1997, he acquired oilfield equipment manufacturers Mathey-Leland (wireline units) and Cooper Manufacturing (well-servicing rigs), both now part of NOV.

Mr Latshaw began operating rigs again in 2003, starting with a 1,000-hp mechanical rig. In 2005, he started building new diesel-electric/SCR rigs. By 2012, he had built the company to include 17 rigs. The acquisition of Keen Energy Services in October of that year more than doubled the size of the company.

Over a nine-year period from 2003 to 2012, the company grew from one rig and 23 employees to 41 rigs and more than 1,000 employees. Latshaw Drilling is now the second-largest privately owned drilling contractor in the US.

“Even though I’m the one who had this dream and vision for the company, there is no way I could have done all of this by myself,” Mr Latshaw said. “I have many good people in my company who have helped me to achieve this dream and vision I had. Even though this is an individual award, I would like to accept it on behalf of all the good people in our company who work so hard and have allowed us to get where we are.

Trent Latshaw speaks at the 2015 IADC Annual General Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Trent Latshaw speaks at the 2015 IADC Annual General Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

“We really are nothing but a small representative group of this great industry that we have, and there are many great men and woman out there who are doing the same thing that we are. I’m glad to say that the IADC represents a good portion of those companies and those people.”

Mr Latshaw currently serves on the IADC North America Onshore Advisory Panel and the IADC Executive Committee. He is also a former Chairman of the IADC Houston Chapter. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

“Trent’s decades of experience, combined with his passion for the industry and the work that IADC is doing, is a valuable asset to the association,” IADC President Jason McFarland said. “It’s the commitment of people like Trent that has allowed IADC to continue our mission of serving as an advocate for the worldwide drilling industry. This award is a well-deserved recognition of a career that has weathered the ups and downs of our industry, and not only survived but thrived.”

“At 19 years old, I decided that I wanted to own a drilling company, and everything I did from that point on was working toward that.” – Trent Latshaw, 2018 IADC Contractor of the Year

In accepting his award, Mr Latshaw said: “To say I’m honored to receive this is an understatement. We have an industry full of very qualified candidates for this award, so it makes it even more important to me that I’ve been selected for this. One of the things I tell my guys is that, number one, the oil and gas industry is the most important industry in the world, bar none. Forget Apple, forget all these other things; they wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for us. Secondly, if you break down our industry into segments, drillers are like the Marines. We are the first to hit the beach, and once that beach has been secured, everyone else comes in behind us. If it weren’t for us out there drilling these wells, to get this oil to the surface, everything else doesn’t count. Our industry is important to this nation’s economy, and obviously I’m proud to be a part of this industry and proud to be a part of IADC.” DC

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