WITHOUT ZAPATA OIL/ENERGY- OFFSHORE DRILLING WOULD NOT EXIST AS IT DOES TODAY.
THE BUSHCO AND COPORATE BUDDIES/SUBSIDARIES ALL BENEFIT FROM OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING SINCE THEY STILL OWN MANY IF NOT ALL THE PATENTS AND COMPANY OUTLETS THAT PRODUCE AND MANUFACTURE ALL THAT IS NEEDED FOR OIL PLATFORM CONSTRUCTION AND/OR PLACEMENT.
FROM WIKI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapata_Oil
Zapata Corporation (NYSE: ZAP) is a holding company based in Rochester, New York and originating from an oil company started by a group including the former United States president George H. W. Bush. Various writers have found links between the company and the United States Central Intelligence Agency.
The company traces its origins to Zapata Oil, founded in 1953 by George H. W. Bush, along with his business partners John Overbey, Hugh Liedtke, Bill Liedtke, and Thomas J. Devine. Bush and Thomas J. Devine were oil-wildcatting associates. Their joint activities culminated in the establishment of Zapata Oil. The initial $1 million investment for Zapata was provided by the Liedtke brothers and their circle of investors and by Bush's father and uncle—Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker Bush—and his family circle of friends.
Hugh Liedtke was named president, Bush was vice president; Overbey soon left. In 1954, Zapata Off-Shore Company was formed as a subsidiary, with Bush as president. He raised some startup money from Eugene Meyer, publisher of the Washington Post, and his son-in-law, Phillip Graham.
Zapata Off-Shore accepted an offer from an inventor, R. G. LeTourneau, for the development of a mobile but secure drilling rig. Zapata advanced him $400,000. The sum was to be refundable if the completed rig did not function. If it did function, LeTourneau would get an additional $550,000 together with 38,000 shares of Zapata Off-Shore common stock. Zapata split in 1959 into Zapata Petroleum headed by the Liedtkes and Zapata Off-Shore, headed by Bush, funded with $800,000. Bush moved his offices and family that year from Midland, Texas to Houston. Zapata Petroleum merged in 1963 with South Penn Oil and other companies to become Pennzoil.
According to a biographer of George H. W. Bush, Zapata Off-Shore in the late 1950s and early 1960s concentrated its business in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Central American coast. The US government began to auction off mineral rights to these areas in 1954. Drilling contracts in 1958 with the seven large US oil producers included wells 40 miles north of Isabela, Cuba, near the island Cay Sal. Fidel Castro overthrew Cuba's Batista government in July 1959.
Zapata also won a contract with Kuwait. Bush was joined in Zapata by a fellow Yale Skull and Bones member, Robert Gow, in 1962. Zapata Off-Shore had four oil-drilling rigs operational by 1963: Scorpion (1956), Vinegaroon (1957), Sidewinder, and (in the Persian Gulf) Nola III.
By 1964, Zapata Off-Shore had a number of subsidiaries, including: Seacat-Zapata Offshore Company (Persian Gulf), Zapata de Mexico, Zapata International Corporation, Zapata Mining Corporation, Zavala Oil Company, Zapata Overseas Corporation, and a 41% share of Amata Gas Corporation.
In 1960, Jorge Diaz Serrano of Mexico was put in touch with Bush by Dresser. They created a new company, Perforaciones Marinas del Golfo, aka Permargo, in conjunction with Edwin Pauley of Pan American Petroleum, with whom Zapata had a previous offshore contract. The deal with Pemargo is not mentioned in Zapata's annual reports. A Bush spokesman in 1988 claimed the deal only lasted seven months, from March to September 1960. Zapata sold Nola I to Pemargo in 1964.
Bush ran for the US Senate in 1964 and lost; he continued as president of Zapata Off-Shore until 1966, when he sold his interest to his business partner, Robert Gow, and ran for the US House of Representatives. William Stamps Farish III, age 28, joined the board in 1966.
Zapata's filing records with the US Securities and Exchange Commission are intact for the years 1955-1959, and again from 1967 onwards. However, records for the years 1960-1966 are missing. The commission's records officer stated that the records were inadvertently placed in a session file to be destroyed by a federal warehouse and that a total of 1,000 boxes were pulped in this procedure. The destruction of records occurred either in October 1983 (according to the records officer) or in 1981 shortly after Bush became Vice President of the United States (according to a record analyst with the commission, Wison Carpenter).
FROM LETOURNEU OFFSHORE DRILLING WEBSITE
LeTourneau, Inc. Celebrates 50th
Anniversary of First Jack-Up Rig
May 2005 - Longview, Texas — During the early 1950’s, offshore drilling was, for the most part, limited to non-mobile (fixed) platforms that were embedded in the sea floor by permanent foundations and/or pilings. The use of these non-mobile platforms was an expensive proposition since recovering the cost of the foundation had to be achieved from a single drilling location. The very few mobile platforms operating during that era were supported by sunken refloatable vessels, and were considered unsuitable for use in the turbulent waters of open seas and, therefore, confined to inland waters.
R.G. LeTourneau, an inventor, innovator, and pioneer (with literally hundreds of U.S. patents) had an idea for a vessel that could safely drill for oil and gas offshore. During a career that had spanned nearly 40 years, LeTourneau had become renowned for designing and building machines that elevated the earthmoving industry to new levels of efficiency and productivity. He was the first to develop all-wheel electric drives for these heavy-duty machines, a key technological component in the successful development of a mobile offshore drilling platform.
LeTourneau envisioned a stable and secure mobile platform that could safely operate in often-treacherous open waters. He knew that such a vessel would greatly reduce the costs of offshore drilling by being able to move from site-to-site rather than being permanently fixed to one location. His company, R.G. LeTourneau, Inc. (now LeTourneau Technologies, Inc.™) after conducting extensive engineering studies in oceanography, hurricane winds, and tidal waves, began design work on a mobile, self-elevating offshore drilling platform. The objective was to build an all-weather offshore drilling platform that could be floated to the drill site then quickly converted to a stabilized structure by lowering open lattice tripod-type support legs to the sea floor.
Although the concept of a deep-sea, mobile, offshore platform aroused considerable interest among the oil companies, none were prepared to help finance the construction of such an expensive (nearly $3 million) and unproven project. That is until LeTourneau proposed the idea to Zapata Off-Shore Company of Houston, Texas, headed by future United States President, George Bush.
Bush later described LeTourneau in his autobiography, Looking Forward.
“A kind of George Patton of engineering. … He’d come to us with a proposition: he’d build the Scorpion at his own expense. We’d advance him $400,000 – refundable if the completed rig didn’t work; if it did, he’d get an added $550,000 and 38,000 shares of Zapata Off-Shore common stock. Our feeling was that anybody who had that much confidence in himself was worth the gamble.”
The contract to deliver the first mobile offshore platform was signed on November 11, 1954 and construction began in late 1954 near the company’s Vicksburg plant on the shores of the Mississippi River. With the need to overcome the design constraints of conventional platforms, its construction was considered by many in the offshore oil industry to be quite a daring attempt.
The LeTourneau Mobile Offshore Platform was basically a large, shallow-draft barge, equipped with three electro-mechanically-operated lattice type legs. Dimensions of the platform were 186 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 24 feet in section with a 24-foot by 28-foot derrick slot. The hull structure comprised two 20-foot diameter barge-like hulls, which were reinforced by corrugated steel plate and utilized for fuel storage, mud tanks, and water supply storage. The three 140-foot lattice type steel legs (also known as spuds) were located on two sides and one end of the hull. Living quarters for the crew and helicopter landing pads were fitted to the deck.
In December 1955, the 4,000-ton platform “walked” into the Mississippi River under its own power. Construction of the platform was completed with the installation of a drilling derrick, pumps, and associated equipment.
The platform was handed over to Zapata Off-Shore and officially christened “Scorpion” on March 20, 1956 in a ceremony where R.G LeTourneau presented a 3-foot “Key to the Gulf” to Zapata’s president, George Bush. Scorpion went into service off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas and drilled its first well for the Standard Oil Company of Texas. The rig then moved to another location off the coast of Galveston, Texas, then to the Gulf of Mexico.
In June 1956, the Scorpion set a drilling rig world relocation record by traveling approximately one mile under tow from one well site to another and commenced drilling a new well within 8 ˝ hours. Scorpion’s unprecedented repositioning speed was due to its ability to stabilize with only 5 to 7 feet of sea floor penetration and then quickly elevate. Other platforms of the day typically required as much as a hundred feet of spud penetration and days to jack before operations could begin.
Construction soon began on a second LeTourneau platform, which was delivered to Zapata Off-Shore in early 1957. The LeTourneau platforms soon had an opportunity to prove themselves, as they were the only rigs on the Gulf Coast to withstand the forces of Hurricane Audrey in 1957 without sustaining damage.
The Zapata Scorpion revolutionized offshore oil and gas exploration a half century ago by greatly reducing the costs of setting an offshore oil well into operation. Well regarded as a robust and efficient drilling platform, LeTourneau had built and placed 10 offshore platforms around the world by 1959.
Today, after having designed, engineered and built 179 jack-ups (more than anyone else) and with more than 135 operating throughout the world, LeTourneau Technologies Offshore Products stands as the leader in offshore jack-up drilling rigs, with a well-known track record of dependability, a reputation for the finest construction technology, and a company-wide commitment to innovation and customer responsiveness.