Beginning with a small land-based steam rig powered by two 45-horsepower boilers, Arch and Charlie Rowan founded a company that has since become one of the premier drilling, rig construction and aviation companies in the oil industry. Today, Rowan owns and operates the mobile offshore drilling units known as the gorillas-class rigs, the largest in the world standing at more than 560 feet. Throughout its 75 years, Rowan has struggled against stormy climates - both nature's and the cyclical economics tendency of the oil and gas industry. From the heat of Louisiana's marshes to the frigid cold of Alaskas North Slope, Rowanites overcame the elements to extract oil and gas from an uncooperative ground. They continue to challenge the ocean's violence and its wind-driven waves to supply the world's energy needs. Along the way, Rowan has become a world-class aviation and construction company. The company acquired ERA, which brought Alaskan pioneer Carl Brady into the fold, and LeTourneau, builder of the Gorilla drilling rigs as well as its famous earth-moving equipment. Each acquisition has helped Rowan in its quest for hydrocarbons. As the life blood of civilization, oil is a commodity affected by world politics, and Rowan's fortunes have a followed the roller coaster of international relations. Under Chairman and CEO Bob Palmer, the company gambled heavily during uncertain times when oil prices plummeted amid worldwide recession. Rowan shook off the despair that gripped its industry to emerge with record revenues, and world-class equipment and personnel. The challenge is constant, however. Future company leaders, brought up in Rowans family-like culture, must face the reality of the technical, financial and political hurdles their predecessors have conquered. In this comprehensive work, industrial historian and author Jeffrey L. Rodengen tells the fascinating story of 'The Legend of Rowan.'
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