Parker Drilling Company
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Gifford C. Parker founded Parker Drilling Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1934. The following year, the company pioneered the use of diesel-electric-powered drilling rigs, and by 1945 it was branching out into the international market. During the next four years, Parker Drilling began to operate five rigs in Venezuela and twelve in Canada.
The company was incorporated in 1954. Beginning in the 1960s in west Texas, Parker created its own niche by developing new deep-drilling technology that has since become the industry standard. By the mid-1960s Parker had eight deep-drilling wells, the oldest of these being one it drilled for Gulf Oil in west Texas. In 1969, the year Parker went public on the over-the-counter market, the company landed a major contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to drill a series of holes up to 120 inches in diameter and 6,500 feet in depth in Alaska and Nevada for nuclear testing. Three years later Parker set a world record for deep-well drilling with a 28,500-foot well, again in west Texas. In 1977, using the world's largest rig at the time, Parker drilled the deepest test to date in the Middle East in Kuwait.
During the second half of the 1960s the company began to pioneer the helicopter-transportable rig technology for which it eventually became well known. The company designed several series of rigs that could be disassembled, flown into remote or environmentally sensitive areas, and there reassembled for the operator's drilling program.