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Baker Hughes, a GE company Company History Timeline

1907
In July 1907, the 34-year-old inventor and entrepreneur was working in Coalinga, California when he was granted a United States patent for a casing shoe that enabled drillers to efficiently run casing and cement it in oil wells.
In 1907, Reuben C. Baker developed a casing shoe that modernized cable tool drilling.
1908
The Hughes Tool Company was founded in 1908 by business partners Walter Benona Sharp and Howard R. Hughes, Sr., father of Howard Hughes, Jr.
1909
In 1909, Howard R. Hughes, Sr. introduced the first roller cutter bit that dramatically improved the rotary drilling process.
Howard Hughes, Sr., and Walter Sharp developed and manufactured the rotary drill bit, an invention so important to the fledgling oil industry of 1909 that variations of the same bit are used today.
In 1909, the Sharp Hughes bit was granted a United States patent.
1912
When Sharp died in 1912, Hughes bought Sharp's share of the business.
1913
1913 Baker organizes Baker Casing Shoe Company to hold and license his patents.
1915
Hughes incorporated the business the following year, and in 1915 dropped Sharp's name from the company.
1915 Hughes renames his company Hughes Tool Company.
1924
The 19-year-old Howard Hughes, Jr., inherited the company in 1924 following the death of his father.
1924 Upon Hughes's death, ownership of Hughes Tool passes to Howard Hughes, Jr., who over the next several decades uses the firm's steady inflow of cash to fund his various avocations.
1928
In 1928, Baker Casing Shoe Company changed its name to Baker Oil Tools, Inc., to reflect its product line of completion, cementing and fishing equipment.
1929
In 1929, H. John Eastman introduced controlled directional drilling in Huntington Beach, California, using whipstocks and magnetic survey instruments to deflect the drill pipe from shore-based rigs to reach oil deposits offshore.
1934
In 1934, Eastman Whipstock Inc. was founded by Eastman and Roman W. Hines, the same year the company drilled the world's first relief well to control a blowout in Conroe, Texas, that had been on fire for more than a year.
1942
Meanwhile, in 1942, Oil Base Drilling Company was founded by George Miller, and made its first application of oil base mud.
1947
Clark, who had joined the company as a recent mechanical-engineering graduate from the California Institute of Technology in 1947, led Baker, now based in Orange, California, to new heights.
1948
In the ten years after 1948 it opened 50 new offices in 16 states.
1952
Exploration Logging Company EXLOG was founded in 1952 in Sacramento, California by Vern C. Jones, and had 800 employees.
1956
In early 1956, during one of the most successful periods in the company's history, Baker retired as President of Baker Oil Tools and was succeeded by his long-time associate Ted Sutter.
After 1956, Milwhite Mud Sales Company built its own sales network.
1957
In 1957, Frank Christensen's Christensen Diamond Products opened its manufacturing plant in Celle, Germany.
1959
In 1959, Hughes introduced self-lubricating, sealed bearing rock bits.
1961
Under Sutter the company began to expand globally, and it went public in 1961.
1965
When E.H. Hubie Clark, Jr., assumed control of Baker in 1965, the company developed into a global powerhouse.
1970
In 1970, Baker Oil Tools acquired Lynes, Inc., which produced liner hangers and other completion equipment.
1971
In 1971, Baker Oil Tools acquired Milchem.
1972
Howard Hughes--who founded Hughes Aircraft Company, purchased over 78 percent of TransWorld Airlines' stock and held a substantial investment in RKO Pictures--remained the sole owner of Hughes Tool until 1972, when he put the company on the market.
In 1972, Baker Hughes acquired EXLOG.
1974
Under the leadership of chairman James Lesch the firm purchased the Byron Jackson oilfield-equipment division of Borg-Warner in 1974, for 46 million.
1975
Clark acquired some 20 companies, the largest of which was Reed Tool Company, a drill-bit manufacturer purchased in 1975.
1976
Baker operations were begun in Peru, Nigeria, Libya, Iran, and Australia, among other countries, and in 1976 the company changed its name to Baker International Corporation.
1976 Baker Oil Tools changes its name to Baker International Corporation.
1977
In 1977, the Celle engineering and manufacturing team introduced the Navi-Drill line of downhole drilling motors, which has led the drilling industry in performance and reliability for three decades.
1978
In 1978, Hughes Tool Company acquired Brown Oil Tools.
1980
Hughes, of course, felt he was personally diversified, so he never really considered diversifying the tool company, Raymond Holliday, a former Hughes chairman, told Business Week in October 1980.
1981
By 1981--a peak year in the industry--new business activities, which largely meant non-drill-bit products and services, accounted for 55 percent of the company's sales.
1982
When the bottom fell out of the market in 1982, Hughes found itself a bloated, overextended, and debt-ridden concern.
1983
For the three years beginning in 1983, Hughes lost 200 million.
1985
In 1985 Hughes had been awarded 122 million from Dresser Industries, Inc. for patent violation.
In 1985, Baker International acquired the drilling fluids division of Newpark Resources and merged it with Milchem's mud division to form Milpark.
1986
In 1986 Hughes won a 227 million patent-infringement judgment from Smith International, Inc., a California concern that had copied Hughes's drill seal too closely.
In 1986 Eastman Whipstock merged with Norton Christensen to form Eastman Christensen.
1987
Indeed, the United States Justice Department announced on January 25, 1987, that it would attempt to block the merger, citing reduced competition in markets for some oil-exploration machinery.
The company was founded in April 1987 and is headquartered in Houston, TX.
1987 Hughes Tool and Baker International merge to form Baker Hughes Incorporated.
In 1987, the Brown liner hanger technology was merged into Baker Oil Tools.
1988
The company was already profitable by fiscal 1988.
1989
In June 1989, Baker Hughes acquired Bird Machine Company for 47.5 million.
Woods added the chairmanship of Baker Hughes to his title in 1989.
1990
Tri-State and Wilson companies were acquired by Baker Oil Tools and merged in 1990.
1991
1991 Company spins off its pumping service unit, BJ Services, to the public.
1992
April 1992, Baker Hughes acquired Teleco Oilfield Services, a provider of directional measurement-while-drilling technology, from Sonat for 200 million cash, preferred stock and royalty from future sales of Teleco's triple combo sensors.
In 1992 Eastman Christensen was merged with Hughes Tool Company to form a new division called Hughes Christensen Company.
In 1992, Baker Oil Tools introduced the ZXP Liner Top Packer, with expandable metal seals, which set the stage for development of expandable screens, casing systems and liner hangers.
1993
In 1993, Hughes Christensen introduced the AR-Series PDC bits, anti-whirl bits with increased penetration rates up to 100 in some applications and extended bit life as much as four-fold, compared to previous bit designs.
In 1993, Baker Hughes INTEQ was formed by combining five of the Company's oilfield divisions.
1994
Divestments continued in 1994 with the sales of EnviroTech Pumpsystems to the Weir Group of Scotland for 210 million and of EnviroTech Measurements Controls to Thermo Electron Corp. for 134 million.
Western Atlas, which had been spun off from Litton Industries Inc. in 1994, was the industry's leading geoscience firm, specializing in seismic exploration, reservoir description, and field development services, as well as down-hole data services.
In 1994, Baker Oil Tools introduced multilateral completion systems, which enabled operators to install completion tools and perform selective intervention work in multiple horizontal sections from a common main borehole.
1995
By 1995, Hughes Christensen's Gold Series PDC line increased drilling efficiency by reducing the frictional forces that can accumulate in front of the cutting edge, reducing the energy required to remove the rock.
In 1995, Western Atlas acquired 50 of PetroAlliance Services Company, Ltd., which offered seismic, well-logging, and integrated project services in the Post-Soviet states.
1996
In 1996, patented ChipMaster PDCs, known for their efficiency and durability, were built on the success of the Eggbeater product line.
1997
Introduced in 1997 with Agip S.p.A., the tool is fundamentally different compared to contemporary rivals such as the PowerDrive and the GeoPilot employing the hybrid technique of pushing and pointing vectoring the bit rather than only pointing the bit or only pushing the bit .
In the fourth quarter of 1997, the company acquired Heartland Kingfisher, a Canadian well-logging company.
1998
On August 10, 1998, the company acquired Western Atlas for 5.5 billion in stock plus the assumption of 700 million in debt.
The 1998 Western Atlas Merger and Succeeding Years.
1999
The Securities and Exchange Commission SEC charged that two high-ranking company officers, the CFO and the controller, authorized the payment of a 75,000 bribe to an Indonesian government official in March 1999.
Despite the new initiatives and restructuring efforts, as well as higher oil prices in the later months of the year, Baker Hughes's financial performance continued to suffer during 1999.
In 1999, the only new seismic technology that was being introduced was the 4-dimensional seismic survey monitoring.
2000
To further reduce the still-burdensome debt load, Baker Hughes announced in February 2000 that it would sell its process systems unit, which had little relation to the core oil-services operations.
In August 2000 Michael E. Wiley was hired to be the new chairman, president, and CEO of Baker Hughes.
2000 Baker Hughes contributes Western Geophysical to a joint venture with Schlumberger called Western GECO, 30 percent owned by Baker Hughes.
In 2000, during a downturn in the petroleum industry, the company merged its Western Geophysical division with Schlumberger's Geco Geophysical Company of Norway to form WesternGeco.
2001
Unable to sell it as a whole, the company divided the unit into three entities in 2001 BIRD Machine, EIMCO Process Equipment, and a newly formed joint venture, Petreco International, which was 49 percent owned by Baker Hughes.
In 2001, the company introduced the largest hydraulic fracturing proppants vessel for deepwater work in the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2001, Baker Hughes acquired OCRE Scotland Ltd. from Maritime Well Service, a division of Aker ASA.
2002
EIMCO was subsequently sold to Groupe Laperriere Verreault, Inc. for about 50 million in November 2002.
2003
By early 2003 this exit had been completed through the sale of a 40 percent stake in a Nigerian oil field.
In 2003, these product lines were spun off to form the separate entity of Baker Hughes Drilling Fluids BHDF , with INTEQ continuing as the Drilling and Evaluation D E company.
In 2003, the division acquired Cornerstone Pipeline Inspection Group.
2006
In 2006, Baker Hughes sold its 30 share of WesternGeco to Schlumberger for 2.4 billion in cash.
2010
On April 28, 2010, Baker Hughes acquired BJ Services.
2014
In November 2014, the company entered talks with Halliburton over a merger deal valued at 34.6 billion.
2015
1 Based on 2015 combined revenue.
2016
On May 1, 2016, the companies terminated the merger agreement.
As previously announced on October 31, 2016, the New Baker Hughes will be a leading equipment, technology and services provider in the oil and gas industry with 32 billion of combined revenue1 and operations in more than 120 countries.
2019
In September 2019, GE announced it had sold some of its shares in Baker Hughes, therefore losing its majority control of the company.
Baker Hughes CEO Lorenzo Simonelli, 2019.
Founded
1907
Company Founded
Headquarters
Fairfield, CT
Company Headquarter

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