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Actionable news in NOV: NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO Inc,

Automatic shelf registration statement of securities of well-known seasoned issuers

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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 13, 2015

Registration No. 333-

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form S-3

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number,

including area code, of registrants principal

executive offices)

Craig L. Weinstock

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

National Oilwell Varco, Inc.

7909 Parkwood Circle Drive

Houston, Texas 77036

(713) 346-7500

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

Copy to:

J. Eric Johnson

Locke Lord LLP

600 Travis Street, Suite 2800

Houston, Texas 77002

(713) 226-1200

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time on or after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

If the only securities being registered on this Form are to be offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box. ¨

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box. x

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box. x

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

PROSPECTUS

National Oilwell Varco, Inc.

Debt Securities

This prospectus describes some of the general terms that may apply to the debt securities we may issue in one or several series. We will provide the specific terms of any debt securities to be offered in supplements to this prospectus.

We may offer the debt securities from time to time in amounts, at prices and on other terms to be determined at the time of offering. We may offer and sell these debt securities to or through one or more underwriters, dealers, agents, or directly to purchasers, on a continuous or delayed basis. This prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of our securities unless it is accompanied by a prospectus supplement. You should carefully read this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement before you invest in any of our debt securities.

We will provide information in the prospectus supplement with respect to the expected trading market, if any, for the debt securities.

Investing in these debt securities involves risks. See the Risk Factors sections of the applicable prospectus supplement and our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that are incorporated herein by reference.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is November 13, 2015.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, any accompanying prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). We have not authorized any other person, including any salesman or broker, to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it.

We are not making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer.

You should not assume that the information appearing in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement, any related free writing prospectus issued by us or any document incorporated by reference is accurate as of any date other than the date of the applicable document. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we have filed with the SEC using a shelf registration process. Using this process, we may offer the debt securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the debt securities we may offer. Each time we use this prospectus to offer the debt securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement and, if applicable, a related free writing prospectus that will describe the specific terms of the offering. Such prospectus supplement and free writing prospectus may include or incorporate by reference a discussion of any risk factors or other special considerations applicable to those securities or to us. The prospectus supplement and related free writing prospectus may also add to, update or change the information contained in this prospectus and, accordingly, to the extent inconsistent, the information in this prospectus will be superseded by the information in the prospectus supplement or the related free writing prospectus. Please carefully read this prospectus, the prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus issued by us, in addition to the information contained in the documents we refer to under the headings Where You Can Find More Information and Incorporation of Certain Information by Reference.

References in this prospectus to National Oilwell Varco, NOV, the Company, we, us and our refer to National Oilwell Varco, Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless the context otherwise requires.

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