BEGINNINGS

The history of Brown & Root Industrial Services dates back to 1919, when brothers George and Herman Brown partnered with Herman’s brother-in-law, Dan Root, to create a Texas-based construction company. Their first major jobs were road building, including a contract to rebuild four Central Texas bridges. 

Herman Brown, remembered as a “working man’s man” personally visited job sites throughout the year and often spent time with his employees rather than his fellow executives. George Brown was the opposite – a Brown & Root salesman. Negotiating and influencing with his outgoing personality, George’s talents were applied to acquiring new business opportunities. Upon completion of the four-bridge rebuild, they established offices in Houston, Texas and slowly continued to build their business.

THE ROARING 20’S

During the 1920s, Brown & Root suffered major setbacks.  Dan Root died and the Great Depression caused state projects to be scarce, so the brothers were forced to find other work. On the heels of the Great Depression, Brown & Root secured a contract with Humble Oil Company in Roanoke, Louisiana to construct a board road. This project proved significant because it gave Brown and Root exposure outside of Texas, and it would create a long lasting relationship with Humble Oil Company, who owned a company known as Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company.

Two years later, the company won a contract to construct the Marshall Ford Dam. The dam took five years to construct, used 2 million tons of concrete and was the largest of its kind in Texas. The project was a defining moment, establishing Brown & Root’s reputation as a heavy construction, power and industrial company and lead to large-scale government funded projects.

In 1940, they were awarded a contract to build a $90 Million Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas in preparation for World War II; and in 1941, were approached by the U.S. Navy to build four submarine chasers. Since Brown & Root did not have shipbuilding skills, they formed Brown Shipbuilding and got to work. By the war’s end, Brown Shipbuilding had produced 359 combat ships, 12 pursuit craft, 307 landing craft, 36 rocket-firing boats, and 4 salvage boats, with a total value of more than $500 Million.

BOOMING BUSINESS

Brown & Root emerged from the war as a major U.S. construction company. The magnitude and scope of their construction and engineering projects continued to grow.

In 1946, the company received its first overseas project; began work on its first major engineering project, a chlorine caustic plant for Diamond Alkali; and was awarded its first pulp & paper industry work. In 1947, Brown & Root designed, constructed and installed the first offshore oil production facility out of sight of land in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the 1950s, Brown and Root extended their work internationally establishing offices in Canada and London.   Petroleum, petrochemical, and chemical industry projects were added to their portfolio. They won a $100 Million contract from Union Carbide Corporation to design and build a polyethylene plant in Seadrift, Texas.

Into the 60s, with Herman Brown’s health suffering, the company’s future seemed uncertain. Brown & Root was approached by Halliburton Company, an oilfield services business that bought companies with expertise in the oil and gas field. The Halliburton deal was finalized shortly after Brown’s death in 1962.

Over the next three decades, Brown & Root distinguished itself as an Industrial Services contractor, delivering successful on-site maintenance, turnaround, and capital construction projects across the energy, industrial, power and facility sectors.

 

NEW BEGINNINGS

In 1998, still a Halliburton subsidiary, Brown & Root merged with M.W. Kellogg creating KBR, one of the world’s premiere engineering, procurement, construction and services companies. In 2006, KBR separated from Halliburton. The industrial services organization (maintenance, turnarounds, small capital projects) continued operations as KBR Industrial Services Americas.

In July 2015, KBR partnered with Bernhard Capital Partners (BCP), spinning off its Industrial Services Americas division to establish Brown & Root Industrial Services

KBR continues as a global technology, engineering, procurement and construction company serving the hydrocarbons and government services industries around the globe, through three distinct global businesses: Technology & Consulting, Engineering & Construction, and Government Services.

Brown & Root Industrial Services established its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The legacy Brown & Root organization became the basis of the new company’s Maintenance Division.  Engineering – Capital Construction – Turnaround Services – and Specialty Industrial (soft crafts) services capabilities were quickly added, to meet management’s stated goal of becoming “the most complete plant services organization in the business.” 

Brown & Root continues to grow our resources and capabilities to serve the needs of our customers in the chemical/petrochemical, refining, pulp & paper, and agricultural industries across the U. S., Canada, and Mexico.

Forged from the Past.  Building the Future.

HEALTH & SAFETY

The leadership of Brown & Root is committed to the highest level of health, safety and environmental performance.  Our behavior-based safety program is focused on keeping our employees safe 24/7, and has resulted in world class safety performance statistics.

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