1. n. [Drilling]
The company that owns and operates a drilling rig. The drilling contractor usually charges a fixed daily rate for its hardware (the rig) and software (the people), plus certain extraordinary expenses. Under this arrangement, the cost of the well is largely a function of the time it takes to drill and complete the well. The other primary contracting methods are footage rates (where the contractor receives an agreed upon amount per foot of hole drilled), or turnkey operations, where the contractor may assume substantial risk of the operations and receives a lump sum payment upon supplying a well of a given specification to the operator.