From its founding in 1947 in Larose, Louisiana, Danos has continuously evolved and expanded to serve its customers. This year, the family-owned and managed company celebrates 75 years as a leading service provider to the energy industry. With nearly 2,500 employees, Danos services approximately 150 customers across 17 states.
From humble beginnings, in 1947, Allen Danos Sr., a descendant of south Louisiana farmers, borrowed $2,000 to start a small tugboat company with his brother-in-law, Syriaque Curole. The entrepreneurial-minded duo established Danos and Curole, which later became Danos, purchased their first vessel, the Yoyo, and contracted their first customer, Gulf Oil (which later became Chevron). They kept their overhead low – their wives kept the financial books for the start-up operation, and they conducted business from the Curole kitchen table. The men were proud to be able to provide for their families while creating job opportunities for their community.
During the 1950s, Danos added crew boats to its tugboat inventory and began providing labor gangs at the request of Gulf Oil. In 1957, just ten years after the company was founded, Syriaque Curole passed away leaving the company reins with Allen Danos Sr. The 1960s brought steady growth as the company added a new customer – Tenneco Oil Company (which later became Chevron) – and two new service lines – coatings and shorebase labor – to meet the developing needs of its customers.
In 1970, Allen Danos Sr. passed away, leaving the family business to his sons, 24-year old Allen Jr. and 21-year old Hank. Not easily intimidated, the Danos boys took the helm of Danos and purchased ownership from the Curole family. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the second-generation owners grew alongside the company. They both served in the armed forces through the Army Reserve and National Guard, respectively, while successfully leading Danos through many significant milestones. The brothers acquired new customers – Shell, LOOP and Esso (which later became Exxon); added two additional service lines – construction and fabrication; and built the first self-elevating lift boat. While all of these accomplishments are important, the most significant achievement during this chapter of the company’s history was undeniably the beginning of Danos and Curole’s culture of safety. The culture of safety evolution began in the late 1970s when the company began tracking TRIR, hired its first dedicated full-time safety representative, and made a commitment to provide proper training to ensure employee safety on the job.
The 1990s brought great expansion in the international market. The company deployed a fleet of liftboats to work for Chevron in West Africa and sent production operators to work for Arco China in the South China Sea. In addition to the international opportunities, the company expanded their shorebase business.
The 2000s ushered in change, along with new opportunities and accolades for Danos and Curole. Allen Danos Jr. retired, the company’s liftboats were sold, and after graduating from college and gaining years of domestic and international oil and gas industry experience, Hank’s sons, Eric, Paul and Mark, joined the family business. Danos received numerous customer, industry and government awards in recognition of the company’s industry-leading culture of safety. The company continued to grow its customer base, and in 2010, began working with British Petroleum, managing a significant portion of the Macondo response. In 2012, the company expanded its operations to include work in the North American shale plays; expanded its services to include scaffolding, environmental services, instrumentation and electrical; and, with the opening of a new deepwater access fabrication facility, added large-scale fabrication to its capabilities.
Today, the third generation of the Danos family is at the helm of the growing organization. From a small tugboat company, Danos has grown into a trusted strategic partner for oil and gas operators around the globe. Danos offers onshore and offshore customers an extensive range of integrated services, including: production workforce, fabrication, construction, intelligent integrated materials solutions, project management, coatings, automation, instrumentation and electrical, scaffolding, shorebase and logistics, mechanical maintenance, regulatory compliance, power generation, valve and wellhead. Danos has 2,500 employees, with 9 offices in Louisiana and Texas and operations across in the Gulf of Mexico and North American shale plays. Looking ahead, the company plans to continue adding service lines, expanding into renewable energy and increasing operations to meet the needs of its customers. Throughout the past seven decades, one thing has remained the same at Danos: an unfaltering commitment to values, safety and overall results for its clients.
CEO Paul Danos credits the company’s longevity to three generations of leadership upholding an unwavering commitment to shared values. “When I reflect on the key to Danos’ sustained success, I think about our values of integrity, safety, service, respect and improvement. These founding principles have guided the company for 75 years. Although we’ve said them in different ways over the years, they are the core of who our organization is today,” says Danos.
Throughout 2022, Danos will be celebrating with a 75th Anniversary Road Show. The company will host a series of events in Louisiana and Texas to honor and thank employees, customers and the many partners who have been integral to the organization’s success since 1947. In addition, company employees have pledged to volunteer 1,947 hours to nonprofit organizations in honor of the Danos’ founding year.
As for the company’s future in the ever-evolving energy industry, Danos says, “While many of our established service offerings remain vital to the transitioning industry, we are also actively expanding our capabilities to ensure we remain in step with our customers.”
In recent years, the expansion has included significant advancements in technology-based solutions, delivering improved workforce capacity and employee skill development and an automated warehouse management system that improves operational efficiency and increases customers’ returns.
Danos adds, “We are excited about the future and the growing number of opportunities to deliver the ‘Danos difference’ to new and established customers.”