By Austin Prickett, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
The Darling name has become synonymous with oil and gas drilling in and around the area.
The family is involved in nine companies, covering several facets of the oil and gas drilling business, that are operated out of the Dan D Drilling Corporation’s office in Lamont.
Lexy Pierce, secretary and treasurer for the corporation, said the original company began around 1978.
“Dan Darling and his dad Clyde had a water hauling business and decided to start drilling for themselves,” Pierce said.
They began as Darling Drilling Co. and operated one drilling rig.
The company, which now is owned by the son, blossomed and branched out to involve nine areas of production under the corporation umbrella.
The businesses range from the family farm operation to oil supply, production and service companies and stretch across the north central part of the state, specifically including presences in Lamont and Tonkawa.
“Through Darling Oil Corporation we operate around 100 wells. We pump them, repair them and operate them.” Pierce said.
The overall corporation has more than 270 employees that are working on projects.
Pierce said the drilling company has been very busy due to the current oil boom.
“We are running 10 drilling rigs right now,” Pierce said. “Finding someone to drill for is not a problem ... we don’t hardly drill for ourselves anymore.”
The drilling company performs both horizontal and vertical well drilling. Pierce said the drilling company tends to stay within 100 miles of Lamont but has gone as far south as Pauls Valley and as far north as McPherson, Kan.
The company has been able to survive through several oil booms and busts that have occurred throughout the years, mainly due to the different businesses it operates.
“We’ve had ups and downs throughout the 33 years. When we shut our first drilling company down we lived on through production,” Pierce said. “We are hoping this boom lasts a while.”
The company recently has doubled its supply store, bought a new yard in Woodward for its casing crew and purchased five new drilling rigs.
Pierce, along with drilling superintendent Dale Hobbs, have been mainstays with the area company throughout the years.
She said she has been with the company for 33 years.
“When I started, it was just a big cardboard box of receipts and bills. Then I set the books up and have been going ever since,” Pierce said.