Marriott Drilling Group : Global Knowledge, Local Presence

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

As the UK’s largest onshore deep drilling Company, Marriott Drilling Group continues to go from strength to strength in expanding its portfolio of international projects, completing assignments with the same core philosophies and commitments to operational excellence that helped establish the business nearly 70 years ago.


Incepted in 1947 by Richard Marriott, the Company’s longstanding and ongoing success emanates from the family name that still influences its growth to this day; three of the founder’s grandchildren still occupying management spots within the Group.

A consistency and enthusiasm to continuously improve has subsequently become synonymous with the business, across not only its 20 operational drilling and workover rigs, but also a wide range of drilling and associated services to the oil, gas, shale gas, gas storage, coal, CBM, mining, water and geothermal sectors.

And, just as the industry footprint has expanded, so too has the geographic footprint, now catering for projects across mainland Europe, as well as international markets spanning as far as North America and Africa.

“Marriott offers a selection of business arrangements from traditional day-rate type contracts to incentive contracts, alliances and partnerships to provide clients with a wide range of services, particularly for special and long-term projects,” the Company emphasises.

Director, Jonti Hobday added: “For almost 70 years, the Company has been offering a range of specialist drilling and associated services to a range of industries and projects.

“Above all, it is a team philosophy working together with clients and service providers to ensure the project objectives are met.”


Close client collaboration and versatility have been trademarks of the Marriott service offering over the years, despite the added complexities that stem from the widespread projects facilitated in the 21st century. Careful, yet proactive, organic growth has been the strategy from which this success has been achieved, evolving the model from being a specialist service for the construction of groundwater abstraction wells and investigation boreholes for coal deposit evaluation, to the all-encompassing variety of services that exists today.

“The period from 1980 to 1990 was characterised by significant investment in new drilling plants and associated equipment to exploit contracts offered by oil & gas customers, water companies and major industries,” the Group recalls. “Since 2000, further investment has given the Company the additional capability to provide high capacity and the latest drilling equipment for the deep drilling industry and the water sector.

“Today a professional team of business, financial and technical managers together with dedicated team of engineering, technical and HSE specialists provide the professional support required to fulfil the needs of a wide variety of clients.”

Actively involved in developing bespoke and turnkey drilling and service packages for long-term contracts across its international domain, Marriott Group also involves itself in oil & gas exploration and development to further enhance its value proposition, motivated by its primary objective to achieve growth via a methodical expansion of its rig fleet, service portfolio and technological capabilities.

As a consequence, “Marriott aims to become one of the leading services providers to the oil, gas, geothermal and water industries both in the Europe and in selected markets overseas”.


As an influential member of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and the Well Drillers Association (WDA), Marriott’s reputation and standing within the wider industry is comprehensive, adding further weight behind its drive to attain future contracts.

From an internal perspective, this also allows the Company to form the most prevalent business partnerships in formulating its supply chain, and asserts the Group’s position as an employer of choice in the UK’s sector also.

This potent combination ultimately ensures that Marriott’s equipment and operations are up to global standards in terms of modernisation and capacity.

“Richard Marriott had an aptitude for designing equipment for particular applications and, in the 1970s, he designed and patented an eccentric bit for drilling and casing wells simultaneously through overburden and unconsolidated formations of a type which revolutionised the shallow drilling business worldwide,” the Company notes.“He also developed casing jacks up to 800 tonne capacity for extracting casing and participated in the development of down-hole-hammer technology.

“Richard Marriott set the highest standards of equipment maintenance and customer satisfaction, characteristics which are key factors in the culture and success of the Company today.”

New generation rigs are regularly added to the portfolio to ensure Marriott maintains its position ahead of the industry curve, adopting the newest available technologies in each case to not only improve the quality of its operations across long-term projects, but to also ensure it adheres to the very latest industry trends and expectations.

“For long-term projects, the rig fleet will continue to be expanded by new bespoke rigs including equipment suitable for remote operations in the international market, rigs designed and built to Western European standards which fully conform to the latest EU regulations, and rigs suitable for pad drilling for development projects including skidding or walking systems,” Marriott adds on its website. “Marriott also prides itself in achieving some of the lowest downtime statistics in the industry through comprehensive maintenance and refurbishment programmes, spares holdings and experienced on-site mechanics and electricians.”


Health & safety features prominently in this adherence to operational excellence, placing the welfare of Marriott’s employees, clients and service company personnel as a priority across all operations.

Certified to this end, and compounded by the ongoing tailoring of quality programmes to keep in accordance with ISO 9000 standards, the Company’s most recent review in relation to a familiarly fruitful 2014 suggests that Marriott is not ready to relinquish its lofty market positioning any time soon.

“It was a busy year for the Marriott Group including successful operations in the UK, Kenya and Guatemala. Noteworthy is the excellent record for health & safety with two rigs winning customer awards and one of the UK rigs reaching over 900 days without a lost time accident,” the Group stated in its end-of-year summary.

Awards for its Rig 16 safety record and its Rig 46 one-year, zero LTI (lost time injury) achievement in Kenya epitomises the Marriott model, while 2015 looks set to witness the 1,000 day LTI-free landmark at Rig 50; the Company subsequently paying due credit to its valued employees across the board.

With targets such as this firmly within sight, and a general continuous improvement process that has been refined for the best part of 70 years, Marriott looks as well placed as ever before to sustain Richard’s initial vision of fostering an internationally successful and progressive oil & gas contractor.

The Company concludes: “The Marriott Drilling Group has an ambitious growth strategy including plans for increasing the rig fleet by adding state-of-the-art equipment where opportunities arise, and developing further international markets.”

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