Sam Shackleford began his H&P Journey nearly 40 years ago in 1982, when he was first offered a job at H&P. He had just graduated high school, and although he had watched his father work for the company for several years, he wasn’t quite sure if it was the career path, he wanted to choose for himself.
Rather than accepting the job offer, Sam spent the next decade raising a family and building on his trade skills-- first as a journeyman roofer, then as a machinist--all the while, H&P never stopped calling. It wasn’t until 1994 that he finally felt ready to accept the offer.
“My son had just been born and my daughter was two years old,” says Sam. “I wanted a better life for my family, so I decided it was time.”
In December of that same year, Sam accepted a position with an H&P-affiliated company to build rigs in Bolivia and Colombia, and in January of 1996, he officially joined the H&P team and began a career that has spanned the length of over two decades and led him to work on rigs in Venezuela, West Africa, Ecuador and Argentina.
“In the beginning, there was no communication back to the States. We had no computers and no cellphones, and everything was done manually in the rigs. A lot has changed over the years.”
For Sam, some of the most important changes have emphasized H&P’s commitment to safety through the company’s investment in modern rig technology, training and the work culture as a whole.
“Safety has become a priority and a condition of employment,” says Sam, “The technology today is where we can go out and drill a well safely in 30 days with no problems. It’s very pleasing to know the industry and H&P have come such a long way.”
When the pandemic slowed the industry down in 2020, Sam chose to close out his international journey and take a leave of absence. When work began to pick back up the following year, Sam was asked to return to the company as a field electrician, and later was promoted to senior electrician in December of 2021.
Today, Sam works out of Barnesville, Ohio as an FSD Maintenance Supervisor who models the importance of safety, strong work ethic and planning for the future to his team on a regular basis. He considers the ability to promote and help his employees advance in their own careers as one of the most rewarding parts of what he does.
“I love being able to come out and do what I need to do and make sure everybody is safe and on the same page,” says Sam. “My next goal is to become superintendent. I’m 57 this year, so it took me a little while, but it’s in front of me now and I’m excited for the next step in my H&P Journey.”