Diamond Offshore Drilling

Diamond Offshore Drilling
Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.
Type Public (NYSEDO)
S&P 500 Component
Industry Diamond, Oil and Gas Drilling
Headquarters Houston, Texas, U.S.
Key people

James S. Tisch CEO

Lawrence R. Dickerson President/CEO
Revenue increase USD $3.54 billion[1] (FY 2008)
Operating income increase USD $1.96 billion (FY 2008)[1]
Net income increase USD $1.31 billion (FY 2008)[1]
Employees 4,200
Parent Loews Corporation
Website www.diamondoffshore.com

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. is a deepwater drilling contractor which provides drilling services to the oil and gas industry. The company's headquarters are located in Houston, Texas, but they have offices in Metairie, Louisiana, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Scotland, Singapore, Norway and the Netherlands.[2] Diamond Offshore's beginnings can be traced back to the earliest days of the offshore drilling industry. Its predecessor companies were ODECO, Zapata Corporation, and Diamond M Drilling Co.

In 1992, Diamond M Corporation purchased all of the outstanding stock of ODECO Drilling Inc. from ODECO Oil and Gas Co., a subsidiary of Murphy Oil. Shortly thereafter, Diamond M Corp. briefly changed its name to Diamond M-ODECO Drilling Inc. before becoming Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. in 1993. Diamond Offshore began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in October 1995 and acquired Arethusa (Offshore) Ltd. in April 1996. As of 2009, Diamond Offshore Drilling operates around 47 drilling rigs in all areas of the world.[3]


Diamond M Drilling Co.

In the early 1960s the onshore drilling company Brewster-Bartle went bankrupt. The banks that had become the owners of the company’s rigs contacted Don McMahon to take over the failed company. McMahon accepted the challenge and formed Diamond M Drilling Co. in 1964. He named the company after Diamond M Acres, his ranch near Simonton, Texas.

McMahon took his company public in 1970 and expanded into offshore waters with the building and purchase of jack-up, barge, and semi-submersible rigs. In the early 1970s, Diamond M was one of the largest owners of barge rigs in the energy industry. The company continued to drill both on land and offshore.

In the late 1970s, Western Oceanic tendered an offer to buy Diamond M. Unwilling to be purchased, Diamond sought and found a “white knight” in Kaneb Services, Inc.


Diamond Offshore’s roots date back to May 1953, when Alden J. (Doc) Laborde founded Ocean Drilling and Exploration Co. (ODECO) in New Orleans. Laborde had designed what was probably the first submersible drilling rig.[4] After finding a financial backer in Charlie Murphy of Murphy Oil Co., a grateful Laborde built the rig in 1954 and named the unit Mr. Charlie in honor of his benefactor. Today, the Mr. Charlie is a museum and training facility in Morgan City, Louisiana.

After noticing the stability of submersible rigs when they were only partially submerged for relocation, Laborde designed and constructed the first purpose-built semi-submersible rig, Ocean Driller, in 1964. ODECO rigs continued to rack up “firsts” in the industry in the 1970s, with Ocean Viking discovering the giant Ekofisk oil field for Phillips Petroleum Company in the North Sea and Ocean Victory discovering the Piper and Claymore fields, also in the North Sea, for Occidental Petroleum.

Zapata Petroleum Corporation

Zapata Petroleum Corp. was an oil exploration company formed in West Texas in the early 1950s by a partnership of young entrepreneurs, including George H.W. Bush (later the 41st U.S. President), John Overbey, J. Hugh Liedtke, and his brother William (Bill) Liedtke.

The fledgling company formed the offshore exploration company Zapata Off-Shore Co. in 1954 with Bush as its president. The company split in 1959 into Zapata Petroleum headed by the Liedtke brothers and later to become a part of Pennzoil and Zapata Offshore headed by Bush. The offshore company’s name was changed to Zapata Corp. in 1982, and it was purchased by Arethusa (Offshore) Ltd. in the early 1990s.


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