Baker Hughes

For homonymy, see Baker.
Baker Hughes Incorporated
Traded as NYSE: BHI
S&P 500 Component
Industry Oil and Gas
Founded 1907 / 1987 (merger)
Headquarters American General Center
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Martin S. Craighead
(Chairman) & (CEO)
  • Increase US$ 22.364 billion (2013) [1]
  • Increase US$ 21.361 billion (2012) [1]
  • Decrease US$ 1.949 billion (2013) [1]
  • Decrease US$ 2.192 billion (2012) [1]
  • Decrease US$ 1.096 billion (2013) [1]
  • Decrease US$ 1.311 billion (2012) [1]
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 27.934 billion (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 26.689 billion (2012) [1]
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 17.912 billion (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 17.268 billion (2012) [2]
Number of employees
35000 (2016)
Website BakerHughes
The America Tower of the American General Center, the headquarters of Baker Hughes

Baker Hughes is an American industrial service company, it is one of the world's largest oil field services companies. It operates in over 90 countries, providing the oil and gas industry with products and services for oil drilling, formation evaluation, completion, production and reservoir consulting. Baker Hughes has its headquarters in the America Tower in the American General Center in Neartown, Houston.[3][4]


Baker Hughes is the combination of many companies that have developed and introduced technology to serve the petroleum service industry. Their combined history dates back to the early 1900s. During its history, Baker Hughes has acquired and assimilated numerous oilfield pioneers including: Brown Oil Tools, CTC, EDECO, and Elder Oil Tools (completions); Milchem and Newpark (drilling fluids); EXLOG (mud logging); Eastman Christensen and Drilex (directional drilling and diamond drill bits); Teleco (measurement while drilling); Tri-State and Wilson (fishing tools and services); Aquaness, Chemlink and Petrolite (specialty chemicals), Western Atlas (seismic exploration, well logging), BJ Services Company (pressure pumping).

Hughes Tool Company's oil drill manufacturing plant in downtown Houston, 1915.

The Hughes Tool Company was founded in 1908 by business partners Walter Benona Sharp and Howard R. Hughes, Sr., father of Howard R. Hughes, Jr.. That year, Hughes, Sr. and Sharp developed the first two-cone drill bit, designed to enable rotary drilling in harder, deeper formations than was possible with earlier fishtail bits. They conducted two secret tests on a drilling rig in Goose Creek, Texas. Each time, Hughes asked the drilling crew to leave the rig floor, pulled the bit from a locked wooden box, and then his associates ran the bit into the hole. The drill pipe twisted off on the first test, but the second was extremely successful. In 1909, the Sharp & Hughes bit was granted a U.S. patent. In the same year, the partners formed the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company in Houston, Texas to manufacture the bit in a rented space measuring 20 by 40 ft (12 m).

After Walter Sharp died in 1912, Hughes purchased Sharp's half of the business. The company was renamed Hughes Tool Company in 1915, and Hughes, Jr. inherited it after his father's death in 1924. Through the 1950s and 1960s, Hughes Tool Company remained a private enterprise, owned by Hughes. While Hughes was engaged in his Hollywood and aviation enterprises, managers in Houston, such as Fred Ayers and Maynard Montrose, kept the tool company growing through technical innovation and international expansion. In 1958, the Engineering and Research Laboratory was enlarged to accommodate six laboratory sections that housed specialized instruments, such as a direct reading spectrometer and x-ray diffractometer. In 1959, Hughes introduced self-lubricating, sealed bearing rock bits. After collecting data from thousands of bit runs, Hughes introduced the first comprehensive guides to efficient drilling practices in 1960; 1964 saw the introduction of the X-Line rock bits, combining new cutting structure designs and hydraulic jets.

Baker International was formed by Reuben C. Baker, who developed a Casing shoe, that revolutionized cable tool drilling. In July 1907, R.C. Baker, a 34-year-old inventor and entrepreneur in Coalinga, California, was granted a U.S. patent for a casing shoe that enabled drillers to efficiently run casing and cement it in oil wells. This innovation launched the business that would become Baker Oil Tools and Baker Hughes Incorporated. Mr. Baker had arrived in the California oilfield in 1895 with 95 cents in his pocket and dreams of making his fortune in the Los Angeles oil boom. Subsequently, he hauled oil for drillers with a team of horses and became a drilling contractor and an oil wildcatter before achieving success as an innovator in oilfield equipment. 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.

In early 1956, during one of the most successful periods in the company's history, Reuben C. Baker retired as President of Baker Oil Tools. A few weeks later, he died after a brief illness at the age of 85 and was succeeded by his long-time associate Ted Sutter. Although he only had three years of formal education, Mr. Baker had been granted 150 patents. In 1965, Mr. Sutter was succeeded by E.H. "Hubie" Clark, who would become the first Baker Hughes chairman of the board in 1987; during its 80-year history before the Baker Hughes merger, Baker had only three chief executives.

INTEQ also originally incorporated the drilling fluids division of Baker Hughes which consisted of Milpark and others. This division was called 'INTEQ drilling fluids' which provided the premier brands in oil and gas well drilling muds and wellbore cleaning fluids. 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. INTEQ provides directional Drilling, MWD/LWD, surface logging (Mudlogging) and coring services.

The company's flagship brand has been the AutoTrak rotary steerable drilling system which was a pioneering directional drilling tool and has been responsible for the company's relatively strong market share in the past few years. 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 [5] of "pushing and pointing (vectoring) the bit" rather than only "pointing the bit" or only "pushing the bit".[6]

In 1987, Baker International acquired and merged with Hughes Tool Company to form Baker Hughes Incorporated. Shortly after in 1992 Baker Hughes acquired Christensen Diamond Products and merged it with Hughes Tool Company to form the drilling and evaluation division, Hughes Christensen.

After the merger, Hughes Christensen introduced the AR Series, the newest antiwhirl technology capable of penetrating a much wider variety of tough formations without the catastrophic cutter fracture experienced by conventional PDC bits. AR Series bits were designed to resist bit whirl by directing load forces through low-friction gauge pads. 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. A year later patented ChipMaster PDCs, known for their efficiency and durability, were built on the success of the Eggbeater product line. Hughes Christensen next introduced the Genesis HCM bits for steerable motors with patented EZSteer depth-of-cut control technology. This same technology was adapted to Genesis HCR bits for rotary steerable systems, such as the Baker Hughes AutoTrak rotary closed loop system. Genesis ZX PDCs followed with new Zenith cutters.

Joint venture with Schlumberger

In 2000, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger formed a joint venture called WesternGeco. The Joint venture was signed for a period of five years, and merged Baker's Western Geophysical and Schlumberger's Geco-Prakla, the two leading seismic interpretation companies of the time. Due to diminishing exploration markets, new marginal oil fields, and low barrel prices the worldwide business of seismic exploration was surviving on just the corporate strength of the two big service companies. The only new technology that was being introduced at the time was the 4-dimensional seismic survey monitoring.[7] In 2006, Baker Hughes announced it was selling its 30% share of the WesternGeco joint venture to Schlumberger for $2.4 billion in cash.[8]

PetroSkills Alliance

In 2008, Baker Hughes joined the PetroSkills Alliance. Member companies came together to create detailed skill and Competency Maps, which act as a guide for the 200+ short courses, taught to industry professionals in over 40 locations worldwide. Competency Maps are an analysis tool and software application that allows users to assess their skills base to identify gaps in their training, areas needing improvement or mastered skill areas within upstream, downstream, and HSE petroleum subject disciplines.[9]

Criminal charges

In 2007, Baker Hughes pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribing oil-related industry officials in Russia, Uzbekistan, Angola, Indonesia, and Nigeria.,[10] Under the settlement, a unit of the Houston-based company pleaded guilty to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for payments made between 2001 and 2003 to a commercial agent retained in 2000 in connection with a project in Kazakhstan. After bribes were paid, Baker Hughes was awarded an oil-services contract in a Karachaganak, Kazakhstan field that generated $219 million in revenues from 2001 to 2006.

Labor action

During the annual period of negotiations between trade unions and their employer counterparts in Norway 114 Baker Hughes employees were called to strike action in June 2012. Due to their key positions in the oil industry this strike by SAFE-organized Baker Hughes employees would affect more than a dozen offshore oil installations.[11][12]

Acquisition by Halliburton

In November 2014, it was announced that Baker Hughes had entered talks with Halliburton over a merger deal valued at $34.6 Billion.[13] If carried out, it would be the largest merger in the history of the industry. Halliburton proposed the acquisition of Baker Hughes, which would unite two of the largest U.S. providers of oil field services. Under the terms of the transaction, Baker Hughes shareholders will receive 1.12 shares of Halliburton common stock and $19.00 in cash for each share of Baker Hughes stock they own. The merger has been approved by both Companies Stockholders and currently is waiting on approval from several jurisdictions, such as the US Department of justice, on concerns on how it will affect the level of competition, prices and consumer welfare for the global oilfield service providing industry. Undoubtedly, the merger will lead to increased consolidation in the oil services market. Also, officials believe that the asset sale will not help the combined company retain competitiveness, as smaller buyers will not utilize their larger rivals’ assets efficiently. The merger had a deadline of the end of April 2016 after which, if a decision had not been made, both companies could walk away from the deal if they chose. At the beginning of May 2016, the day after the deadline expired, Baker Hughes and Halliburton announced the termination of the merger agreement.[14][15]

Acquisition by General Electric

At the end of October 2016, it was announced that General Electric is nearing a deal valued at about $30 billion to combine its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes. The transaction, if completed, would create a publicly-traded entity controlled by GE.[16] In December 2016, it was announced that Baker Hughes would be dividing off its Pressure Pumping division to form a New BJ Services Company.[17]


Baker Hughes has acquired various different companies, allowing for a wider range of services to customers. These legacy companies were divided into specialised divisions, each responsible for a specific area of oilfield service expertise.

Drilling and Evaluation Group

Completion and Production Group

Business units

In 2009 Baker Hughes adopted a new business model that divides the company to the following business segments:

Legacy companies


In 1929, Cicero C. Brown organized Brown Oil Tools in Houston, and patented the first liner hanger in 1937. Liner hangers enable drillers to lengthen their casing strings without having the liner pipe extend all the way to the surface. This saves capital cost and reduces weight borne by offshore platforms. Hughes Tool Company acquired Brown Oil Tools in 1978. In 1970, Baker Oil Tools acquired Lynes, Inc., which produced liner hangers and other completion equipment. In 1978, Baker Oil Tools introduced the Bakerline casing liner hanger. In 1985, the FlexLock Liner Hanger was introduced, extending the performance range and functionality of liner hanger systems. In 1987, the Brown liner hanger technology was merged into Baker Oil Tools. In 1992, BOT introduced the ZXP Liner Hanger Packer, with expandable metal seals, which set the stage for development of expandable screens, casing systems and liner hangers.

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 wellbore.

On August 31, 2009, the company announced an intention to purchase BJ Services Company in a $5.5 billion stock and cash deal. Greenhill & Co. advised on the transaction. On April 28, 2010, it was announced that Baker Hughes' acquisition of BJ Services had been finalized with some conditions.

Drilling fluids

In 1931, Max B. Miller devised a drilling mud using a white clay as a weighting material. To market the new mud, he formed The Milwhite Company in Texas. In the mid-1930s, the company mined barites in conjunction with the Magnet Cove Barium Corporation (later called Magcobar). After a hiatus during World War II, the company resumed grinding operations using barite from a mine in Missouri and conducted mud sales through independent distributors. After 1956 Milwhite Mud Sales Company built its own sales network. In 1963 the company acquired the Aquaness chemical company, and in 1964 the combination became Milchem Incorporated. In 1971, Baker Oil Tools acquired Milchem. In 1985, Baker International acquired the drilling fluids division of Newpark Resources and merged it with Milchem's mud division to form Milpark. Meanwhile, in 1942, Oil Base Drilling Company was founded by George Miller, and made its first application of oil base mud. The company was acquired by Hughes Tool Company in 1979, and renamed Hughes Drilling Fluids in 1982. In 1987, when Baker Hughes was formed, Hughes Drilling Fluids was merged into Milpark, and in 1993, Milpark became a product line within Baker Hughes INTEQ. Baker Hughes Drilling Fluids was established as a stand-alone division in 2004.

Mud logging and Well monitoring

In 1952, in Sacramento, California a group of Stanford University engineering and geology graduates founded Exploration Logging Company (EXLOG) to provide geologic mud logging services from mobile logging units using technical innovations in hot-wire gas detection. Vern Jones was the company's first president. EXLOG would become a world leader in surface logging, rig instrumentation and data acquisition. Baker International acquired EXLOG in 1972, and invested in its expansion. By 1982, the company had more than 200 logging units and 1,000 geologists on staff. Its broad expertise in geological services would eventually become the Surface Logging Service product line of Baker Hughes INTEQ.

Directional drilling and diamond drill bits

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. In 1934, Mr. Eastman gained notoriety, and respect for directional drilling techniques, when he drilled the world's first relief well to control a blowout in Conroe, Texas, that had been on fire for more than a year.

In 1957, Christensen Diamond Products opened its manufacturing plant in Celle, Germany. The facility built diamond core heads and drilling bits and soon began producing stabilizers, drilling jars and other equipment. 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. Other innovations developed in Celle include the industry's first steerable motor system, and the AutoTrak Rotary Closed Loop System. In 2007, the Celle Technology Center became Baker Hughes' leading research and engineering facility in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Measurement while drilling

Teleco Oilfield Services Inc was founded in 1972 and introduced the world's first MWD tool [20] in 1978. Schlumberger introduced the LWD service in 1980. The legacy MWD company Teleco Oilfield Services Inc. was integrated into a new division, to be known as Eastman Teleco in 1992. The division then merged the directional drilling products and services once marketed by the Eastman Christensen division with Teleco's measurement-while-drilling (MWD) services. In January 1992, Baker Hughes agreed to purchase Teleco from Sonat Inc. for $200 million cash, preferred stock and royalty from future sales of Teleco's "triple combo" sensors.

Before the acquisition, Teleco was recognized as the world's leader in MWD, with an estimated $140 million in revenues, of which about $120 million were from MWD alone. Eastman Teleco was then combined with others to form INTEQ in 1993.

Fishing tools and services

Tri-State and Wilson companies were acquired by Baker Oil Tools and merged to the company's Wellbore Intervention division. Tri-State was a multi-national technology leader on products like milling operation, spears, and packer retrieving.

Specialty chemicals

William Barnickel's Tret-O-Lite business in 1920 had outgrown his initial manufacturing plant, so he built a new one in Webster Groves, Missouri. The ingenious new facility had six times the capacity of the old plant and was built on a hillside so that raw materials were unloaded from a railroad line on the top of the hill, and the chemicals flowed through the plant using the force of gravity. Finished product was loaded on rail cars at the bottom of the hill. In 1922, the company sold 10,815 drums of Tret-O-Lite demulsifier, representing a recovery of 50 million barrels (7,900,000 m3) of oil from produced oil/water emulsion. In 1923, Mr. Barnickel died at age of 45, of a perforated ulcer, and John S. Lehmann succeeded him as Tret-O-Lite president.

Meanwhile, Frederick Cottrell and James Speed were developing electrostatic methods for separating oil from water. In 1911, Allen C. Wright formed the Petroleum Rectifying Company of California (PETRECO), which built electric dehydrating plants—based on Contrell's and Speed's inventions—to serve California oilfields. By 1922, Petreco had 417 treaters in operation, but was running into competition from Barnickel and his chemical process. In 1930, as the worldwide Depression began, the two competing companies—PETRECO and Tret-O-Lite—merged to form Petrolite

Wireline logging and perforating, and geophysical exploration

In 1932, Bill Lane and Walt Wells invented bullet gun perforating and formed the Lane-Wells Company in Vernon, California. They performed their first job on Union Oil's La Merced #17 well in Los Angeles. The company that would become Western Atlas (later Baker Atlas) grew quickly and added other wireline services, including the gamma ray log in 1939 and the neutron log in 1941, which were developed by Well Surveys Inc., an affiliated company. In 1948, a Lane-Wells crew performed the company's 100,000th job on La Merced #17, the site of the first perforating run.

In 1963, Baker Atlas predecessor Lane-Wells introduced the Neutron Lifetime Log service, providing the ability to detect oil through well casing, and initiating the line of Baker Atlas pulsed-neutron logging tools for cased hole logging and reservoir monitoring. It took another five years for competitors to introduce a comparable service. Beginning in 1948, Well Surveys Inc. physicist Arthur Youmans led the team of engineers and scientists to develop this technology. The highly complex instrument included a miniaturized particle generator and sensors to detect and analyze sub-atomic particles. Mr. Youmans went on to become Vice President of Research and Engineering for Dresser Atlas.

In 1968, Lane-Wells and the Pan Geo Atlas Corporation (PGAC) merged to form Dresser Atlas, a name chosen to “position” the company as more than a perforating provider and as part parent company of Dresser Industries. A competitor with Lane-Wells but possessing deeper expertise and an international reputation in open hole logging, PGAC was the perfect merger partner to form an integrated wireline services company. Since its inception, Lane-Wells had generated most of its income from perforating services, but log interpretation had narrowed down producing zones, resulting in fewer perforations and less revenue. During the oil slump of the 1999, Western Atlas was acquired by Baker Hughes and the wireline division was created within the company rebranded as Baker Atlas. Western Geophysical was meanwhile allied with GecoPrakla of Schlumberger and later combined into a separate business entity called WesternGeco.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "BAKER HUGHES INC 2013 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 12, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 "BAKER HUGHES INC 2014 Q1 Quarterly Report Form (10-Q)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. April 23, 2014.
  3. "Contact Us - Baker Hughes Global Headquarters Offices." Baker Hughes. Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
  4. Map of Neartown. Neartown Association. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  5. "InDepth Volume 13, 2007: 100 Years of Service" (PDF). Baker Hughes. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  6. "Drilling tool with non-rotating sleeve - Schlumberger Technology Corporation". Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  7. "Login to access the Oil & Gas Journal Subscriber Premium features.". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  8. "(Press Release) Baker Hughes Incorporated Investor Relations". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  9. "PetroSkills LLC: Private Company Information- BusinessWeek">
  10. New York Times, Baker Hughes Admits to Overseas Bribery
  11. Halvorsen, Toril Hole (June 11, 2012). "Streik i Baker Hughes" [Strike in Baker Hughes] (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  12. "Some Norway oil workers on strike, production unaffected". Reuters. June 10, 2012. Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  13. Halliburton, Baker Hughes Merge in $34.6 Billion Deal
  14. "Halliburton and Baker Hughes set to terminate $35 billion deal". CNBC. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  15. "Halliburton and Baker Hughes said to call off $28 billion merger". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  16. "GE to Combine Oil and Gas Business With Baker Hughes". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  17. Baker Hughes to Place Some Operations Into New Land Pressure Company, 2016-12-01
  18. "Baker Oil Tools Ltd.". Oilfield Directory Publications. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  19. "Baker Hughes Incorporated 2011 Annual Report, Form 10-K, Filing Date Feb 24, 2012" (PDF). Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  20. Archived March 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

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