Three Offshore Service Fleets Plan Merger Into New Company

Three offshore service companies— Gulf Fleet Marine Corporation of New Orleans; Jackson Marine Corporation of Aransas Pass, Texas; and Zapata Marine Service of Houston—plan to merge into a new company that will have $600 million in assets and a fleet of 325 vessels to serve offshore oil and gas operations throughout the world. The three companies are subsidiaries of Houston Natural Gas Company, Halliburton Company, and Zapata Corporation, respectively.

To be named Zapata Gulf Marine Corporation, the new company will be owned 42.6 percent by Zapata, 36 percent by Houston Natural Gas, and 21.4 percent by Halliburton. It will be controlled by two directors from each of the parent companies. Subject to approval by several regulatory agencies, the merger will be one of the largest offshore oil and gas industry service fleets in the world, according to a Zapata spokesman. The 325-vessel fleet of the new company will comprise 196 supply and tug/supply vessels, 89 tugboats, 22 crew and utility boats, and 18 barges.

Houston Natural Gas Company is also involved in shipbuilding and transmitting and selling natural gas. Halliburton is active in oilfield production and services, engineering, construction, and insurance. Zapata operates offshore drilling rigs and is also involved in exploration and production.

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