Charlie Morgan created Morgan Well Service in October 1963. He began working in the oil and gas business after growing up in an Oklahoma sharecropping family.
He began working for Baker Oil Tools and then worked as a consultant before starting his own business.
The first days of the business were, as to be expected, full of risks for a "mom and pop" business. Morgan mortgaged nearly everything he owned to get the business going. He bought his first pole rig on credit from an Oklahoma City owner. The power box was chained to the rig since all the mounting bolts had broken. The unit made it halfway back to Prague before the entire engine froze. Morgan, mortgaged to the max, approached an international dealer in Seminole.
"My word is about all I can give you as far as a credit reference," Morgan said. "But if you'll put a new motor in this rig, I will pay you back." That's exactly what he did. Morgan bought products from that dealer until he was no longer in business.
Charlie's son, Danny, took over the business in 1985 just in time for the industry collapse. Danny says he had to be very innovative in thinking about how to structure employee costs and bid jobs out. They bought new rigs with large down payments or traded in old equipment.
Morgan Well Service was one of the first in Oklahoma to use power tongs during an era when operators viewed the innovation skeptically because of fears the equipment would crimp or scar pipe and cause tubing leaks. The company also bought the last of two rigs manufactured by Cooper in 1986 before the Tulsa facility closed.
Danny says that some of the old ways are returning to the oil patch when it comes to relationships between contractors and customers. "It's something we can all be proud of," he said.