From Texas to the East: A Strategic History of Texas Eastern Corporation

Overview


Immediately after World War II, several Houston-based firms organized to transport natural gas from the giant fields of the Southwest to the large utility companies that distributed energy in the urban-industrial centers along the East coast. This relatively inexpensive and clean-burning fuel quickly made spectacular inroads into markets previously served by coal and petroleum.

Texas Eastern was one of the major competitors in the post-war industry. The company's origins were ...

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Overview


Immediately after World War II, several Houston-based firms organized to transport natural gas from the giant fields of the Southwest to the large utility companies that distributed energy in the urban-industrial centers along the East coast. This relatively inexpensive and clean-burning fuel quickly made spectacular inroads into markets previously served by coal and petroleum.

Texas Eastern was one of the major competitors in the post-war industry. The company's origins were unique. Early in 1947, a group of entrepreneurs led by Herman and George R. Brown, founders of the Brown & Root construction firm, purchased the Big Inch and Little Big Inch pipelines from the U.S. government, which had built them to transport crude oil and petroleum product vital to the war effort. By converting these pipelines to the transportation of natural gas, the founders of Texas Eastern got in on the ground floor of a dynamic industry.

With full access to company files, Christopher J. Castaneda and Joseph A. Pratt follow the company from its creation in 1947 to its purchase by Panhandle Eastern Corporation in 1989. During this period, Texas Eastern's strategy focused on expansion of its natural gas system and diversification into other related industries including liquefied natural gas sales, North Sea oil and gas production, and Houston real estate.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the company faced a series of

challenges from the energy crisis, the deregulation of natural gas, and the hostile takeover movement in the energy industries. By the late 1980s, the process of diversification had come full circle, as the company sold off subsidiaries and refocused on the transmission of natural gas as a part of Panhandle Eastern's vast system.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780890965511
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


CHRISTOPHER J. CASTANEDA is director of the program of Oral History of the Houston Economy at the University of Houston.Joseph A. Pratt is Cullen professor of business and history at the University of Houston. Pratt is coauthor, with Walter L. Buenger, of But Also Good Business, also published by Texas A&M University Press.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
List of Tables and Charts
Preface
Introduction 3
Pt. 1 The Entrepreneurial Era, 1941-54
1 The Inch Lines 13
2 The Winning Bid 33
3 Creation of a Gas Company 54
4 Race for Eastern Markets 76
Pt. 2 The Lure of Diversification, 1954-71
5 Constrained Expansion of the Gas System 101
6 Domestic Diversification 129
7 From Texas to the North Sea 156
8 The Leap into Houston Real Estate 173
Pt. 3 The Limits to Strategy, 1971-89
9 Responses to Gas Shortages 191
10 Oil-Driven Diversification 220
11 Refocusing on the Core 244
Epilogue: Acquisition Endured 256
Notes 265
Index 285
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    A rare look into the history of a gas transmission company

    This book takes you from the birth of Texas Eastern Corp. to the company's purchase by Panhandle Eastern Corp., giving a complete history of the various diversification ventures along the way. The book provides a unique history not only of Texas Eastern Corp., but of the financial and political difficulties gas transmission companies faced while constructing their interstate pipelines and securing sources of gas. As competing companies were racing to reach the northeastern markets first, the reader gets a brief history of other gas transmission companies such as Columbia, Tennessee, Algonquin, and others. Anyone who has an interest in gas transmission would enjoy this rare history of a company whose core business was natural gas transmission.

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