With 58,000 employees, operations in more than 70 countries, and 2008 revenues of more than $18 billion, Halliburton is one of the world’s leading providers of products and services to the oil and gas industries. The company got its start in 1919 when Erle Palmer Halliburton, equipped with a borrowed team of mules, a wagon and a pump, started an oil well cementing business in Duncan, Oklahoma. Halliburton got started in the business using techniques he had learned while working for the Perkins Oil Well Cementing Company – though he had reportedly been fired from that job for making too many suggestions of how they could improve their practices. In his own business, Halliburton made the wise move of meticulously patenting all his new processes and devices, basically ensuring that oil companies would have to utilize his cementing services. The company grew fast, and by 1922, it had cemented its 500th well.
The Halliburton company expanded around the world over the coming decades, opening sites in Burma, Canada, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, the Middle East, and finally in Europe in 1951. In 1984, Halliburton provided equipment for the first multi-well platform off the coast of China, an in 1986 it became the first American company to conduct an oilfield service job on China’s mainland. The company opened a branch in Moscow in 1991.
Under the leadership of Dick Cheney – who served as Halliburton’s CEO from 1995 until he accepted the GOP’s vice-presidential nomination in 2000 -- Halliburton in 1998 acquired one of its main rivals, Dresser Industries, Inc., for $7.7 billion. The merger created one of the largest energy services companies in the world.
Today, Halliburton continues to provide technical products and services for petroleum and natural gas exploration and production. It has headquarters in Houston, Texas and in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where Chairman and CEO David J. Lesar is based.
Products Manufactured at Halliburton that Contained Asbestos
Several of Halliburton’s subsidiaries throughout the years have used a naturally occurring mineral called asbestos in their products. Asbestos became very popular with manufacturers and industries starting in the late 1800s, because the fibrous mineral was versatile, plentiful, cheap and highly effective as an insulator and fireproofing agent. It wasn’t until the 1970s that officials announced that the mineral is also extremely dangerous; its long, crystalline fibers, when inhaled, can cause deadly diseases like mesothelioma, an inoperable form of lung cancer for which asbestos is the only known cause. By then, however, it was too late for the thousands of workers who had already suffered lung damage after years of being exposed to the deadly mineral.
Halliburton’s connections to asbestos stem largely from its 1998 purchase of Dresser Industries, which had several subsidiaries that made products using the mineral, as well as another Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root. Products made by these companies include a variety of oil-related industrial equipment, including pumps, compressors, turbines and drilling fluids, known as “muds,” used to cool and clean drilling bits and float debris and crushed rock up through a drilling site to the earth’s surface. Some asbestos-containing equipment was also used aboard ships, in locomotives, and other uses.
Below is a list of products made by Halliburton or Halliburton subsidiaries believed to have contained asbestos.
- Worthington Horizontal Single Air and Steam Heating Vacuum “AE” Pump
- Worthington Horizontal Single Air and Steam Heating Vacuum “AF” Pump
- Worthington Monobloc Centrifugal Pump
- Worthington “DE” Monobloc Pump
- Worthington Split Case Centrifugal Horizontal Single Stage Volute Pump Types “R”, “L” and “U”
- Worthington Horizontal Duplex Piston Pattern Steam Pump “VA” Pump
- Worthington Horizontal Duplex Piston Pattern Steam Pump “VC” Pump
- Worthington General Purpose “CF” Model Pump
- Dresser Pumps
- Ingersoll-Dresser Pumps
- Pacific Steam Turbopumps (used on passenger ships)
- Clark Compressors
- Roots Compressors
- Worthington Compressors
- Dresser-Rand Compressors
- LeRoi Compressors
- Moore Turbines
- Worthington Turbines
- Worthington-Moore Turbines
- Dresser-Rand Steam Turbines
- Mason Standard Reducing Valves
- Alco Locomotives
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Best
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Diaseal M
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Flosal
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Shurlift
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Super Best
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Super Visbestos
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Univis
- IMCO Drilling Mud – Visbestos
- Magcobar/Dresser Drilling Mud -- Diaseal M
- Magcobar/Dresser Drilling Mud – Flosal
- Magcobar/Dresser Drilling Mud – Oilfaze
- Magcobar/Dresser Drilling Mud – Visbestos
- Magcobar/Dresser Drilling Mud – Visquick
- Baroid Drilling Mud – Flosal
- Baroid Drilling Mud – Diaseal M
- Baroid Drilling Mud – Visbestos
- Baroid Drilling Mud – Super Visbestos
- Kellogg Brown & Root
- Bay State Abrasive Products
Occupations at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
Anyone who worked with asbestos-containing products made by Halliburton or one of its affiliated companies could be at risk of being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma cancer or asbestosis. Oilfield and refinery workers are one of the occupations most likely to be affected by these products, though a wide range of individuals who worked at an oilfield or refinery site could have been affected, including engineers, electricians, pump system operators, boilermakers, pipefitters, ironworkers and welders. It’s important to remember that some of these companies’ products were used in industries not related to oil production, such as in shipyards and train-building operations, so asbestos presented a hazard in those locations as well.
It can take decades before symptoms of mesothelioma begin to appear in the human body – as long as 50 years, in some cases. Therefore, asbestos exposure years ago could affect you today. If you think you or a loved one could be at risk, take the time to learn about the disease, its symptoms and treatment options today.
In December 2003, in response to an overwhelming number of asbestos-related lawsuits, Halliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root and other subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a way to minimize their liability. The company emerged from bankruptcy with a reorganization plan that included a $4 billion settlement in cash and stock to resolve hundreds of thousands of asbestos claims. The settlement was publicized as one of the largest asbestos settlements in history. Halliburton officials claimed the company had lost approximately $900 million per year from 2002 to 2004, largely as a result of asbestos-related lawsuits.
Author: Tara Strand
Senior Content WriterRead about Tara
Reviewer: Jennifer R. Lucarelli
Lawyer for Mesothelioma Victims and Their FamiliesRead about Jennifer
History of Halliburton
Halliburton – Company History
Halliburton – Asbestos Liability
“Halliburton: Asbestos Cases Done”