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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Oil Service
business biographies  

October 9, 1865 - Samuel Van Syckel laid first underground two-inch oil pipeline with three relay pumps, 5.5 miles between wells, railroad between Oil Creek and Pithole, PA; carried eighty barrels of oil an hour; teamsters turned out in fury, dug up, cut pipe so that oil would be lost; armed guard  stationed to hold teamsters in check.

May 4, 1869 - Thomas F. Rowland, of Greenpoint, NY, received a patent for a "Rock Drill" ("Improved Submarine Drilling-Apparatus"); offshore oil-drill rig.

1880 - Solomon R. Dresser established S.R. Dresser & Co. in Bradford, PA to sell the packer, device designed to keep oil, water separated underground during drilling operations; April 2, 1889 - received a patent for "Pipe-Coupling" (" provide means to prevent pipes from pulling out of their connections when coupled together"); prevented leakages from gas pipelines, facilitated delivery of gas over long distances; 1927 - annual sales of $3.7 million, 400 employees; 1928 - went public. renamed Dresser Industries; 1930s - diversified, acquired manufacturers of valves, heaters, pumps, engines, compressors; became major manufacturer of products used in production, extraction of energy (oil derricks, blowers, drill bits, refractories, drilling mud); 1982 - acquired International Hough,  construction and mining equipment division of International Harvester Co.; 1998 - merged with Halliburton; April 10, 2001 - acquired by management,  renamed Dresser Inc.

1901 - Morris W. Kellogg established M. W. Kellogg Company, small pipe fabrication business, in New York City; grew to become world-class engineering firm; led to new technologies that became foundation for petroleum refining,  petrochemical processing facilities; 1988 - acquired by Dresser Industries; 1998 - acquired by Halliburton formed Kellogg Brown & Root (engineering, construction  subsidiary).

Morris W. Kellogg (left) - M. W. Kellogg Company (ttp://

1919 - Erle P. Halliburton established New Method Oil Well Cementing Company in Oklahoma; December 1962 - acquired Brown & Root, following Herman Brown's death.

1919 - George and Herman Brown partnered with Dan Root (brother-in-law), established Brown & Root, construction business; built roads in Texas; 1937 - principal source of campaign funds for Lyndon Johnson's initial run for Congress in return for persuading Bureau of Reclamation to change rules against paying for dam on land federal government did not own; 1947 - built one of world's first offshore oil platforms; December 1962 - acquired by Halliburton; 1998 - merged with Kellogg engineering subsidiary of Dresser Industries, formed Kellogg Brown & Root.

1919 - Conrad and Marcel Schlumberger, their father founded Société de Prospection Electrique (later named Schlumber Limited).

1929 - James L. Anderson and Robert S. Kerr formed  Anderson & Kerr Drilling Company in Ada, OK; 1937 - Dean A. McGee joined company; 1946 - name changed to Kerr-McGee; August 2006 - acquired by Andarko Petroleum for $16.4 billion.

Big oil and gas mergers (global)
Date announced           Target/ Acquirer                                              Value ($bln)
1. 12/01/98             Mobil /Exxon                                                              86.4
2. 10/28/04             Shell Transport/Trading Royal Dutch Petroleum        80.3
3. 07/19/99             Total Fina/Elf Aquitaine                                             56.2*
4. 07/05/99             Elf Aquitaine/Total Fina                                             55.3
5. 08/11/98             Amoco/British Petroleum                                           55.0
6. 02/25/06             Gaz de France/Suez                                                  44.7
7. 12/12/05             Burlington Resources/ConocoPhillips                         36.5
8. 05/29/06             Kinder Morgan/Investor Group                                  26.5
9. 06/23/06             Kerr-McGee/
Western Gas Resources Anadarko                                                           23.3
* Withdrawn Data: Thomson Financial

(Brown & Root -George and Herman Brown partner with their brother-in-law, Dan Root), Joseph A. Pratt and Christopher J. Castaneda (1999). Builders: Herman and George R. Brown. (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University, 326 p.). Brown, Herman, 1892-1962; Brown, George R., 1898-1983; Brown & Root (Firm)--History; Offshore oil field equipment industry--Texas--History; Offshore gas field equipment industry--Texas--History; Construction industry--Texas--History; Businessmen--Texas--Biography.

  George and Herman Brown (right) (ttp://

(Brown & Root), Joseph A. Pratt, Tyler Priest and Christopher J. Castaneda. (1997). Offshore Pioneers: Brown & Root and the History of Offshore Oil and Gas. (Houston, TX: Gulf Pub. Co., 302 p.). Brown & Root (Firm)--History; Offshore oil field equipment industry--United States--History; Offshore gas field equipment industry--United States--History; Ocean mining--History; Ocean engineering--History.

(DRECO Energy Services), John Chisholm McBean (1997). DRECO: A Corporate Odyssey: DRECO 25 Years. (Edmonton, AB: DRECO Energy Services, 286 p.). DRECO Energy Services -- History; Oil wells -- Equipment and supplies; Gas wells -- Equipment and supplies; Drilling and boring machinery.

(Dresser Industries), Darwin Payne (1979). Initiative in Energy: Dresser Industries, Inc., 1880-1978. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 415 p.). Dresser Industries, inc.--History.

(Halliburton), Jeffrey L. Rodengen (1996). The Legend of Halliburton. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Syndicate, 208 p.). Halliburton Company--History; Offshore oil field equipment industry--United States--History.

Erle P. Halliburton (

(Halliburton), Dan Briody (2004). The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 290 p.). Halliburton  Company History; Brown & Root, Inc. History. Intersection of public need, private profit, war making - rise of Halliburton Corp., its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root, transformation of U.S. military establishment; bought politicians, manipulated contracting process, ridden current wave of small wars to record profits.

(Halliburton), Pratap Chatterjee (2009). Halliburton's War: The Long, Strange Tale of a Private, Profitable, and Out-of-Control Texas Oil Company. (New York, NY: Nations Books, 304 p.). Investigative journalist and producer and the program, director/managing editor of Corpwatch. Halliburton Company --History; Petroleum products --Texas --History. How Halliburton does business, in Iraq, around world (vital role as logistical backbone of U.S. occupation in Iraq); corporate malfeasance, political cronyism; how Halliburton won, then lost contracts in Iraq; what Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld did for it; whom company paid off in U.S. Congress; company's freewheeling ways: executives' high lives, bribes, graft, skimming, offshore subsidiaries, fraud; human costs of privatization of American military affairs.

(Hunting Plc), Edited by Penelope Hunting (1991). The Hunting History: Hunting Plc Since 1874. (London, UK: The Company, 256 p.). Hunting Plc; Oil equipment and services industry--Great Britain--History.

(Interstate Oil Pipe Line Company), John Loos (1959). Oil on Stream! A History of Interstate Oil Pipe Line Company, 1909-1959. (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 411 p.). Interstate Oil Pipe Line Company; Petroleum pipelines -- United States.

(Kerr-McGee), John Samuel Ezell (1979). Innovations in Energy: The Story of Kerr-Mcgee. (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 542 p.). Kerr-McGee Nuclear Corporation--History.

Image of Robert S. Kerr Sr. Robert S. Kerr Sr. - Kerr-McGee (

Image of Dean A. McGee Dean A. McGee - Kerr-McGee (

(National Transit Co.), Neil McElwee (2007). The National Transit Co., Standard Oil's Great Pipeline Company. (Oil City, PA, Oil Creek Press, 80 p.).  National Transit Company (U.S.) --History; Petroleum pipelines --United States; Petroleum industry and trade --United States --History. Pipeline men, enterprises that organized, operated, mastered oil industry's nineteenth, early twentieth century transportation function.

(Noble Drilling Corporation), Jeffrey L. Rodengen (2001). The Legend of Noble Drilling. (Fort Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Enterprises, 200 p.). Noble Drilling Corporation--History; Petroleum industry and trade--United States--History; Oil well drilling--United States--History; Offshore oil industry--United States--History.

(Oil Well Supply Company), Louis Brown Fleming (2009). John Eaton, (Oil City, PA: Oil Region Alliance, 59 p.).Great grandson. Eaton, John. Oil Well Supply Company; Oil industry -- United States -- history. Eaton, his business enterprises in Oil Creek valley, beyond; first global company to develop, distribute machinery necessary for production of oil; former hardware salesman made tools, machinery that made possible rapidly expanding exploration, production, refining of oil. 

(Rowan Companies), Jeffrey L. Rodengen (1998). The Legend of Rowan. (Fort Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Enterprises, 192 p.). Rowan Companies--History; Offshore oil field equipment industry--United States--History; Offshore gas field equipment industry--United States--History; Oil well drilling rigs--United States--History.

(Santa Fe International), James L. Schefter (1990). Santa Fe International Corporation: An Oil Service Company's Story. (San Pedro, CA: Omega Point Press, 206 p.). Santa Fe International Corporation--History; Petroleum industry and trade--United States--History.

(Schlumberger), Louis A. Allaud, Maurice H. Martin (1977). Schlumberger: The History of a Technique. (New York, NY: Wiley, 333 p.). Schlumberger Limited; Electric prospecting -- History; Oil well logging, Electric -- History; Petroleum engineering -- History.

Francois Conrad Schlumberger  ( Schlumbergers/Schlumberger ConradThm.jpg)

(Schlumberger), Ken Auletta (1984). The Art of Corporate Success: The Story of Schlumberger. (New York, NY: Putnam, 184 p.). Schlumberger Limited, Jean Riboud.

(Trans Mountain Pipe Line Company), Neill C. Wilson and Frank J. Taylor (1954). The Building of Trans Mountain, Canada’s First Oil Pipeline Across the Rockies. (Vancouver, BC: Trans Mountain Oil Pipe Line Co., 107 p.). Trans Mountain Pipe Line Company.

Patrick J. Nicholson (1983). Mr. Jim: The Biography of James Smither Abercrombie. (Houston, TX: Gulf Pub. Co., 364 p.). Abercrombie, James Smither; Abercrombie family; Businessmen--United States--Biography; Oil field equipment and supplies industry--United States--History.


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