A Brief History of Logging Equipment Manufacturers


In early 1955, Marvin Gearhart and Harold D. Owen started a logging company in a tin shed at 554 West Seminary in Fort Worth.  Both were former Welex (originator of the jet perforator) employees; Gearhart, Chief Logging Engineer, and Owen, Chief Explosives Engineer (1951-1953).  Each man put in $3,000.00 and his family car.  Welex sued the new company when they developed their own perforating charges; Welex finally lost in 1962.  In 1964, GO acquired Electronic Instruments, Inc.  The name was changed from GO Oil Well Services, Inc. to Gearhart-Owen Industries (GOI) in 1965 when the company went public.  In 1966, GOI bought Widco Mandrel Industries; Pengo Manufacturing and Peterson Engineering in 1967; and Well Reconnaissance in 1979.  But friction began to develop between the two men who had before almost always agreed on everything.  Gearhart did not like selling torpedoes and hand grenade fuses to the military, but there were also other disagreements about the future direction of GOI.  In July, 1973, three explosions at the GO ordnance plant in Cleburne, Texas injured 29 people, leaving three dead.  In 1978, Marvin Gearhart and Harold Owen parted company.  Owen got the non-wireline part of the company which was spun off as Pengo Industries.  In 1980, Gearhart renamed his company "Gearhart Industries, Inc. - The GO Company".  The Mineral Logging Division was incorporated as a separate entity in 1981, Mineral Logging Systems, Inc. (MLS).  In 1985, Gearhart acquired Geosource, and as a result briefly owned SIE.  The Geosource acquisition coupled with the collapse in oil prices resulted in a 230 million dollar loss in 1986.  In 1989, Halliburton acquired Gearhart and would eventually close the doors at MLS, a horrible stab in the back to the independent well logging industry.  In 1999, Halliburton Logging Services (HLS) moved out of the old Fort Worth Gearhart complex, consolidating wireline research and manufacturing in Houston; it is now impossible to purchase any parts or supplies from them for GO or MLS equipment.  Lonnie Wyatt, a former MLS employee, established WIDCO (later called AAERO) to serve MLS customers left out in the cold by Halliburton.  He was able to register and defend the WIDCO trademark due to an oversight on the part of Gearhart, and eventually managed to acquire a huge amount of old MLS inventory when Halliburton got tired of storing it in Fort Worth.  In early 2008, AnaLog Services, Inc. acquired the stock of WIDCO / AAERO.

Pengo Industries

In 1967, Gearhart-Owen Industries, Inc. bought Pengo Manufacturing.  The Pengo assets were to be sold in 1975, but the transaction was cancelled at the last minute.  In 1978, Marvin Gearhart and Harold Owen parted company.  Owen got the non-wireline part of the company which was spun off as Pengo Industries (he later founded Owen Oil Tools in 1983).  A non-competition covenant prevented Pengo from entering the wireline business or the logging supply business for three years starting in 1977.  But Pengo did eventually enter both businesses, producing well logging tools and surface electronics for its own logging stations, and for independents all over the world.  The 1986 crash in oil prices resulted in Pengo filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The Wood Group eventually bought what was left of Pengo, and in 1988, Computalog acquired the Wood Group USA.  An independent logging company in Bakersfield, California continues to use the Pengo name.

REMCo / SIE / Computalog

In 1958, Marion Hawthorne left his position as chief engineer at Gearhart-Owen to found Radiation Engineering and Manufacturing Company (REMCo).  Within the first year of business, REMCo was building complete logging trucks, some for Gearhart-Owen.  Interestingly, REMCo produced a variety of products not related to well logging, including the first coin operated car wash.  In 1974, REMCo acquired Southern Industrial Equipment (SIE) and would begin to use the familiar SIE logo.  Geosource acquired SIE in 1980, then Gearhart bought Geosource in 1985.  Anti-trust laws forced Gearhart to sell the SIE division to the Wood Group, a conglomerate based in the UK.  In 1988, Computalog, a Canadian company, acquired the Wood Group's interest in the US wireline industry...SIE, Pengo, and PMC.  Any history of SIE would be incomplete without the mention of Al Biggs, Vice President of the company.  Al was with REMCo / SIE from 1963 until his retirement in 1992, and was a true innovator.  In 1999, Computalog became a wholly owned subsidiary of Precision, and in 2005, Weatherford acquired Precision.  Weatherford's new policy is "no service, no parts, no schematics" (email from Weatherford).  This is a sad end to a grand old company, and yet another stab in the back for the independent well logging industry.

Worth Well (WWS) / Bell

Bell was originally known as Worth Well Surveys, Inc. (WWS), established around 1951.  Worth Well Surveys was acquired by Reddig and Associates in the early 1970's.  Worth Well then went into the manufacturing business (it had produced some tools for internal use previously).  The line of logging tools and the first 900 series logging truck were shown at the 1976 Offshore Technology Conference.  Horis Kading was president of Worth Well at that time, and Dale Wilson was station manager in Odessa, with additional shops located in Hobbs, New Mexico, and Sonora, Texas.  Loyd Reddig sold his interests in 1977, and the Bell name first appeared about that time.  Bell Petroleum Systems (BPS), a division of Bell Petroleum Services, was established as the equipment manufacturing arm of Bell.  Bell even established a station in the Illinois Basin, later acquired by Eastern Services.  B.F. Stout was responsible for many of the Bell tool designs; he eventually went to Pengo, explaining why many of the Pengo designs were virtually carbon copies of Bell tools.  Prior to the arrival of B.F. Stout, Chet Green was responsible for many of the tools made by Worth Well including the old temperature tools.  Chet Green also built the "Batmobile" in the early 1960's, a logging truck complete with stylized wings in the then WWS company colors of yellow and baby blue.  After a bankruptcy forced by the 1986 oil price collapse, Bell was acquired by an oilfield elastomer company wanting only the Bell rubber products subsidiary.  But what they got was a million dollar lawsuit with US EPA over an old chrome plating plant Bell had once owned near Odessa, Texas.  The Bell wireline business was later sold to Warrior Wireline of Alabama (no relation to the computer folks).  Warrior kept the logging station in West Texas, but soon dumped the Fort Worth manufacturing operation at a scrap yard price.  AnaLog Services, Inc. eventually acquired the remaining BPS assets in December, 2001.  Included in said acquisition is a huge inventory of repair parts.  AnaLog Services, Inc. is also now the proud owner of the entire Bell / Worth Well print collection (original vellums), comprising thousands of sheets of electronic schematics, mechanical parts drawings, printed circuit board art work, etc.  See our Bell Petroleum Systems (BPS) Menu for more information.  Thanks to Loyd Reddig, Jr. of TCP for help with the history of Worth Well.


In 1969, William "Bill" Hawkins left his engineering position at Gearhart-Owen and founded ComprobeComprobe, Inc. has become a major supplier (according to Bill's sales literature) of well logging equipment worldwide, and continues its long tradition of supplying the needs of the independent well logging community.


Coincidentally, the founders of Tek-Co Tool Electronics Ltd., Jay Roberts and James "Woody" Woodruff, graduated from high school the same year, one in Texas, and one in Kansas.  They both went on to obtain additional education that prepared them to become "living legends" in the logging business, including extensive military electronics training for Woody.  They met at Welex and both later went to Logtech.  After the 1996 acquisition of Logtech by Wedge Wireline, Jay and Woody decided to go into the logging tool manufacturing business, and in 1999 Tek-Co was chartered.  Tek-Co is now Tek-Co Division of Titan Specialties after the acquisition of Tek-Co by Titan in September, 2007.  Tek-Co offers a superior line of cased hole logging tools, and AnaLog Services, Inc. is proud to sell and support Tek-Co tools.

Titan Specialties

In the fall of 1966, three veterans of the wireline business combined their experience to form Titan Specialties.  Titan started as a regional manufacturer of perforating guns and wireline hardware, but soon grew to be an international supplier.  In 1994, the Instrument Division was created to offer a line of downhole logging tools.  In 1998, Titan Completion Products, Ltd. was formed with the acquisition of the assets of Shaped Charge Specialists in Mansfield, Texas.  In September 2007, Titan acquired Tek-Co.  AnaLog Services, Inc. is proud to sell and support both Titan and Tek-Co tools.

Mount Sophris

Check out the Our History page at the Mount Sophris website.

AnaLog Services, Inc.

Just kidding.

See also: A Brief History of Lined Shaped Charge Perforators.

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Last 07-12-08