Tony Petrello leads Nabors Industries from insolvency to success

Nabors Industries is one of America’s leading oil drilling companies. It’s made a name for itself as a premier provider of drilling equipment and services throughout North America’s booming shale oil deposits. Under the leadership of Tony Petrello, the company has gone from near total insolvency to become one of the most important land-based drilling firms in the entire world. It has also developed a wide product line of highly innovative technologies that are both crucial to land-based drilling projects and exclusively available through Nabors Industries.

The company started out as a firm run by roughnecks for roughnecks. In the late ‘50s, Nabors Industries was founded as a drilling conglomerate dedicated to the exploitation of the then newly discovered Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska’s North Slope. This would turn out to be one of the richest oil discoveries in North American history, leading the state of Alaska to become one of the most profitable centers of oil production anywhere in the world, through the 1980s. This didn’t just represent a huge windfall for Nabors Industries. Alaska’s residence benefited enormously from this gigantic oil discovery. Many of the Inuit and other natives of the state, who had been living in grinding poverty, unable to get work in the largely barren landscape of Alaska, were able to now enjoy a high standard of living, thanks to the revenues generated from the Prudhoe Bay oil field.

Nabors Industries continued to expand throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. But by the late 1980s, the company had been mismanaged and had fallen on severely hard times. In 1988, the company entered into chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Its future was uncertain.

Under new owners, the top management of Nabors Industries was looking desperately for the right person to lead the company out of bankruptcy and back to profitability. They came across a young mergers and acquisitions attorney named Tony Petrello. The rest is history.