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Center for Public History, University of Houston; University of Houston Libraries, University of Houston
This is an oral history interview with Larry Berges conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Larry Berges is a partner of Regional Fabricators at the Port of Iberia. His father was involved in industry as a permit man. Berges began welding right out of high school. He worked for Avondale and McDermott, then as a contract welder for National Supply in New Iberia specializing in land rig building. He and three other contractors decided to start a business at the height of the oil boom in the GOM in 1979. By way of his mechanic experience, and a demand for mechanization on seismic boats, Berges began designing and fabricating safety and new equipment on existing seismic vessels. He holds several patents and has run his company's ship building, repair, and upgrading facility for more than 25 years. Company's history/significance: Regional was and is a small to mid-size fabricator of offshore equipment. The diverse backgrounds of the four partners has allowed the company to diversify into many areas of offshore work, including boat construction and repair, sandblasting and painting, new rig construction, refurbishing, etc. One partner runs the office, while the other three each run their respective departments. When one area slows down, the other two are able to keep the yard busy. The multiple skill sets of the original partners have been passed onto the employees, many of whom have become superintendents, who themselves have continued the on-the-job training process to the next generation of hands. Unlike big yards with large labor force, Regional has a smaller force of highly specialized "combination hands"--those trained and experienced in many facets of fabrication, including welding and fitting. The company has primarily been involved in seismic boats and shallow water rig construction. The four-partner setup, and low overhead, provided enough diversification for Regional to withstand the "bust" of the mid-1980s. They are one of the oldest companies at the Port of Iberia. Interviewer: Jason P. Theriot.
Energy development; Petroleum industry and trade; Berges, Larry
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University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
Houston History Archives
Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
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Preservation Location: ark:/84475/pm61096868t
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