Your partner for drilling solutions
With operations in Europe, Central America and Africa and future opportunities in the Middle East, Marriott Drilling Group are well on their way to achieving their company mission
Writer Emily Jarvis
Project Manager Arron Rampling
Operating a fleet of onshore drilling and workover rigs, including two rigs under a long term alliance contract, Marriott Drilling is the largest British owned, UK-based deep drilling company with bases and operations in Europe, Central America and Africa.
The Marriott Drilling Group was established in Derbyshire in 1947 by the late Richard Marriott whose interest in geology and engineering promoted the development of innovative drilling rigs and drilling equipment. His focus on the highest standards of equipment, innovation, equipment maintenance and customer satisfaction are key factors in the culture and success of the company today. The company is now owned and managed by Paul Marriott and Jonti Hobday who are grandsons of the founder. “For over almost 70 years, the company have been offering a range of specialist drilling and associated services to the oil, gas, gas storage, shale gas, coal bed methane, geothermal, mining and water industries,” says Jonti Hobday.
The company has built up an experienced and versatile team of some of the best in the industry with a commitment and focus on project and customer success underpinned by comprehensive health, safety and environment programmes together with personnel training to ensure service excellence.
The success of the company is illustrated over the last year or so by the pioneering work in shale gas exploration and development in the UK, which promises to provide the UK with gas resources for many years to come together with the discovery of one of the largest potash deposits in the world at a site in North Yorkshire, and the development of some of the world’s most productive geothermal wells in Kenya.
Marriott prides itself in achieving some of the lowest downtime statistics in the industry through well maintained equipment, spares holdings and experienced on-site rig mechanics and electricians. “Downtime records of less than 0.5% have been recorded in remote parts of Africa, for example,” Jonti comments.
The combination of personnel expertise and experience, local knowledge, new rigs and fit-forpurpose equipment together with the ability to provide a range of critical support services that the company can offer through partnering, alliances and integrated service arrangements, offer a strong capability in selected international markets. The Marriott Group is an active member of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and a member of the Water Well Drillers Association.
Assessing Future Potential
The focus on shale gas as a potential source of cheaper gas in the UK and its contribution to energy security offers significant opportunities for Marriott as Jonti explains: “This will only work if banks and other financial institutions will provide finance for the expensive drilling and associated equipment that is required. Given the right support by customers, government, local authorities and funding agencies, we could grow further with the shale gas business and help channel the benefits to the UK economy, by establishing local manufacturing facilities, workshops and bases in shale gas areas and providing employment coupled with training programmes for both young and older workers,” Jonti continues: “The drilling rig and associated rig components required for the emerging shale gas market could be manufactured or assembled in the UK given the right environment with local personnel, particularly the young job-seekers, trained to crew the rigs and also operate and maintain the associated equipment with very significant benefits to the local communities and the UK industrial future. The threat is that the large international drilling companies will step in and many of the benefits will go overseas if early action is not taken to support UK companies.”
The company’s priority operational focus is on the health, safety and welfare of its employees together with environmental protection with the future trend to more automatic and robotic drilling rigs and associated equipment to minimise personnel exposure to danger.
Strength in the home market in the UK is important for Marriott to help to create a company with the ability to win more work in the competitive international market and to provide stability and opportunities for personnel development, together with the additional benefits that such commercial enterprise brings to the UK economy. “Additionally, we feel it is also important that UK based oil and gas companies do not ignore the indigenous capability in procuring drilling services for their international operations, which is all too often the case,” cites Jonti Hobday.
Health, Safety and Environmental Protection
Marriott is a leader in safety, innovation and technology for both domestic and international exploration and development of natural resources. The Marriott Group operates a comprehensive Safety Management System to ensure that all hazards identified in the work-place and potential occurrences detrimental to personnel, operations, assets and the environment and their impact on business performance are identified or effectively controlled. “Coupled with this is the Marriott Group’s own STAR (Stop–Think-Act-Report) system, which is designed for reporting potential near misses, unsafe equipment and operations,” Jonti adds.
Marriott Drilling is accredited to LRQA OHSAS 18001:2007 and is also accredited for health, safety, environmental issues and quality by Achilles, Jonti comments that “Training at all levels is also a key part of our commitment and our culture with routine safety meetings, briefings and investigations into both incidents and near misses.”
The Marriott Group prides itself on its excellent service to clients providing value for money with a focus on well integrity and lifetime costs to complement the goals of their customers as Jonti emphasises: “Above all, it is a team philosophy working together with clients and service providers to ensure the project objectives are met.”
Marriott Drilling is driven by a strong company vision to become one of the leading independent service providers in the oil, gas, gas storage, geothermal, geoscience and water resources markets in Europe and in selected international markets. With expanding operations across Europe, Central America, the Middle East and Africa, the company are well on their way to achieving this goal.