Founded in 1919, Halliburton got its start in the untested process of oil well cementing. Since then, it has expanded to become one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry.
Its core values of integrity, creativity, collaboration, and competition have helped Halliburton survive the boom-and-bust cycles of the oil and gas industry and are evident in the men and women throughout the world who work for Halliburton today. Just as Erle P. and the many employees of the past delivered superior services to build the Company’s strong foundation, current employees continue to work with customers to engineer solutions that maximize asset value and deliver on what is promised.
Erle P. Halliburton said that getting both hired at and later fired from Perkins Oil Well Cementing were the best two things that ever happened to him. He and his wife Vida moved to the booming new fields around Burkburnett, Texas to find work cementing wells with his new and improved method. Halliburton, starting with a borrowed pump, a wagon, a mule team, and a wooden mixing box, called his enterprise the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company. Several months later, on May 7, 1920, he reorganized as the Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company (HOWCO).
“Mr. Halliburton was known as very much of a people person,” recalls Opal Wilson, who began working at the company as a secretary in 1953. “I didn’t get a chance to meet Mr. Halliburton in person but I do know that he always said, ‘My employees didn’t work for me. They worked with me.’”
In 1921 Halliburton established its headquarters in Duncan, Oklahoma. The first office was one room in the home of Erle P. and Vida, and the first shop was in their garage. The work space soon grew rapidly.
By 1930, Duncan’s population more than doubled, and by the 1960s it had reached 20,000. Almost half of the city’s inhabitants worked for Halliburton. To honor the prosperity Erle P. brought to Duncan, the city inducted him into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1953, and declared May 1st Erle P. Halliburton Day. Today, more than 1300 employees work in Duncan, where the Company maintains a manufacturing facility, technology center, business support center, and operations maintenance support center.
In 1922, Halliburton quickly became the leading authority on cementing with the patented jet mixer, and its book of cementing tables remains the industry standard today. Over the past century, Halliburton has continued to pioneer cementing innovations, from equipment to slurry design to 3D modeling and predictive analysis.
Today, Halliburton has more than one hundred cement labs around the world, providing fast and local tailoring to customer needs. And even as Halliburton has added other capabilities to its portfolio, cementing remains at the heart of its operations.
Halliburton took the initial steps toward becoming a worldwide company in 1926 when it sold five cementing units to an English company in Burma and established an operation in Canada. In the 1940s Halliburton expanded into South America and the Middle East, and in 1948 HAL stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
As Halliburton entered the 1950s, its growth was almost nonstop, expanding into Germany, Italy, Argentina, and England. The tiny New Method Oil Well Cementing Company had become a global organization. In the 1960s, Halliburton moved its headquarters to Dallas. By 1975, Halliburton had 40 subsidiaries in all parts of the world. Halliburton relocated its headquarters to Houston in 2003 and opened an eastern hemisphere corporate headquarters in Dubai in 2007.
Halliburton has grown into the diverse oilfield services company it is today both organically and through acquisitions. Companies like Welex, Otis Engineering, Landmark Graphics, and Dresser Industries helped strengthen the Halliburton portfolio by adding well-known and respected products and services such as Sperry-Sun Drilling Services, Baroid Drilling Fluids, and Security DBS.
The last decades of the twentieth century brought more changes and growth. Halliburton became the first American company to perform an oilfield service job on the China mainland in 1984 and opened a branch office in Moscow in 1991. Two years later, Halliburton combined its ten semi-autonomous energy services units into one unified, global organization, Halliburton Energy Services. This collaboration served to meet the changing needs of worldwide customers in an industry where adaptability, efficiency, technology, and economy make the difference.
Although Erle P. Halliburton started his company with a revolutionary cementing process, it was the foray into hydraulic fracturing that transformed his company into a global oilfield services leader. In 1949, Halliburton performed its first commercial hydraulic fracturing job on an oil well 12 miles east of Duncan, Oklahoma. Today, the Halliburton Production Enhancement product service line has the biggest global presence among the Company’s fourteen product service lines.
In 2012, Halliburton introduced Frac of the Future, a new approach to fracturing that, in addition to providing improved productivity and efficiency for operators, addressed health, safety, and environmental concerns. Utilizing advances in pumping design, sand delivery, and pump monitoring, Halliburton sought to reduce each job’s footprint, emissions, and risks to personal safety and the environment.