The Benoit Brand
During World War II, Morris Benoit worked as a roustabout and driller for Texaco while his brother Lucius Benoit worked for Higgins Industries in New Orleans manufacturing the “Higgins Boat” which supported allied forces. General Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to Andrew Higgins as “the man who won the war for us” saying without those ships “we never could have landed over an open beach; the whole strategy of the war would have been different.”
After the war, the brothers recognized an opportunity to go into business together leveraging Lucius’ manufacturing skill set and Morris’ relationships in the oilfield. Benoit Machine & Repair Works officially opened in 1943 with its first manual lathe purchased from Higgins. By the 1970s, Benoit had established itself as the premier oilfield machine shop in the area. Benoit had grown to 40 employees by 1976 when Maurice, Morris’ son purchased the company from his father and uncle. Under Maurice’s leadership Benoit grew to several hundred employees and into a globally recognized company. Benoit wouldn’t be where it is today if not for Maurice’s bold investment in CNC machining and his role in the development of numerous proprietary connections.
Brothers Lucius and Morris Benoit establish Benoit Machine & Repair refurbishing oilfield tug boats, crew boats, and supply boats that service drilling and production operations in the waters around Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.
Morris and Lucius decide to buy a tug boat, name it Grand Pass, and start another company transporting oilfield equipment to the rigs through the marshes and waterways of South Louisiana.
The brothers recognize the opportunity to refurbish the drilling equipment they are transporting to the rigs on their tug boat, the Grand Pass, and refocus Benoit Machine & Repair to cater solely to the oilfield equipment industry.
Benoit begins to manufacture wireline tools, building “paraffin scrapers”, a tool used to clean out the inside of production tubing, wireline “sinker bars,” and other downhole tools.
Benoit delves into threading oilfield rotary connections and purchases larger engine lathes; begins repairing drill pipe and drill collars, and building rotary drilling subs.
Takes a 100-year lease out on property across the road and opens a Fabrication Department; begins building separators, generator packages and other support materials for drilling and production operations.
Benoit grows to 12 employees, becomes incorporated as Benoit Machine, Inc., and hires a local advertising agency to create its first official logo.
Benoit expands and relocates to new facilities with increased space for the Fabrication Department, and begins manufacturing and repairing topsides, rig platforms, and larger generators
Benoit establishes a new Rig Repair Department utilizing portable welding and machining equipment to repair onsite everything from drilling draw works to rotary tables and even drilling rigs.
Maurice G. Benoit, son of Morris, purchases Benoit Machine Inc., with 40 employees from his father and uncle Lucius. Maurice buys his first CNC lathe, a Mazak M5.
Maurice successfully uses the CNC lathe to pick-up the thread lead while refurbishing oilfield rotary connections. Many people thought this could not be done efficiently; a year later the practice is used in oilfields around the globe.
Maurice develops the BTS line of two-step connections. The original BTS-6 and BTS-8 gages are manufactured.
Benoit strikes agreement for Steel Service Oilfield Tubular, Inc. (SSOT) to be the exclusive distributor of Benoit’s BTS connections. SSOT continues to serve as Benoit’s largest distributor.
Maurice continues to push innovation at Benoit. He modifies Benoit’s lathes by attaching the tailstock with a boring bar to the lathe carriage, allowing operators to simultaneously turn-down the ODs while boring the IDs of upset tubulars; combining two separate, critical machining processes into one.
Benoit is challenged by a major operator to manufacture a tubing string with an overall length (OAL) tolerance of 0.010” on each joint of tubing. Benoit focuses its research and development efforts and successfully produces the string within tolerance. This level of responsiveness and determination underpins Benoit’s commitment to innovation and customer service.
Benoit opens the Connectors Department, an accessory division manufacturing tubular accessories, completion tools, flow control valves, and other downhole tools.
Kanematsu USA, JFE Steel Corporation, and a private equity group purchase the assets and intellectual property of Benoit Machine, naming the new entity Benoit Premium Threading, LLC.
Benoit expands threading capacity to more than 1 million feet of tubing per month and expands opens a satellite facility in Houston, Texas.
Benoit celebrates their 75th anniversary.