KBR's history goes back to the days before the Wright Brothers successfully flew the first airplane, automobiles were a rarity and the primary means of communication was the telegraph. In 1901, Morris W. Kellogg opened a tiny pipe fabrication business in New York, M.W. Kellogg, which would become a world-class engineering firm.
Kellogg's engineering expertise led to creation of new technologies and industry milestones, including the world's first catalytic cracking facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1942, and Europe's first crude oil-based liquid ethylene cracking facility in 1956. In the 1960s, Kellogg revolutionized fertilizer production through the creation of a new ammonia process, making a rapid growth in global food production possible. Many of the innovations that originated in the Kellogg laboratory are now the foundation for the petroleum refining and petrochemical processing facilities — and remain a major part of KBR today.
Shortly after the conclusion of World War I, George and Herman Brown partnered with their brother-in-law, Dan Root, to start a Texas-based construction company that would carry their names — Brown & Root. The company began building roads, but quickly expanded into other areas. In 1940, Brown & Root received its first government contract, to build the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. One year later, the U.S. Navy awarded the company a contract to build the first of what would become a total of 359 ships.
After succeeding in the shipbuilding business, Brown & Root set its sights further offshore. In 1947, the company set a global milestone when it constructed the first offshore oil platform 43 miles off the coast of Morgan City, Louisiana. In 1965, it was responsible for another industry first when it built the first offshore oil platform in the North Sea. When Halliburton purchased Brown & Root in 1962, its reputation as a leading offshore rig builder, road construction company and general contractor was assured.
M.W. Kellogg underwent numerous acquisitions and name changes from 1944 through the late 1980s, when it was acquired by Dresser Industries, a provider of integrated services and project management for the oil and gas industry. Ten years later, Halliburton acquired Dresser, and combined it with M.W. Kellogg and Brown & Root to create a new, larger subsidiary — Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR).
In 2006, KBR reached a major milestone when the company separated from Halliburton and completed a successful initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, KBR employs approximately 27,000 people globally and is considered one of the world's premier engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and services companies. KBR supports the civil infrastructure, hydrocarbon, government and defense, and power and industrial sectors, and services our clients with a broad range of products and services through these business units: Oil & Gas; Downstream; Technology; International Government, Defence and Support Services; North American Government and Logistics; Power & Industrial; Infrastructure & Minerals; Canada Operations; U.S. Construction; Building Group; and Industrial Services.
KBR has expanded our capabilities in commercial and industrial construction, structural integrity management, onshore and offshore facilities, and mining through the acquisition of our subsidiary companies: BE&K, Energo Engineering, Granherne, GVA, Mantenimiento Marino De Mexico, Roberts & Schaefer and SW&B Construction Company.
As KBR embarks upon our second century in business, we can look back upon a solid foundation as we strive for future success.