J-W Energy Company History

J-W Operating Company was founded on November 10, 1960 by Thomas Jeffrey and Howard G. Westerman.

Howard George Westerman was born in Cincinnati, OH on October 11, 1928. He attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering.

L to R: Tom Jeffrey, Ralph Connell,
Howard Westerman

Howard enlisted in the Army Corp of Engineers and served as a first lieutenant. In 1951 at a USO event in Lake Charles, LA he met Laura "Jane" David, and on January 22, 1952 Howard and Jane were married in Lake Charles, LA. The couple took up residence in Germany where they soon started a family that would eventually grow to seven children.

In 1954, after an honorable military discharge, Howard Westerman, Sr. found employment with Bethlehem Steel in Tulsa, OK. At Bethlehem Steel, Mr. Westerman was designing equipment for water-flood units and selling parts when he met a geologist named Thomas J. Jeffery.

In 1960, the principal owners of two water-flood units in Arkansas, who could not agree on which of them should operate the units, offered the job to Howard. Dr. Ralph Connell loaned the money to Jeffrey and Westerman to start a new company.  This laid the foundation for what would develop into a company specializing in contract operations and Dr. Connell has since been affectionately been known as the dash in the J dash W.

Other opportunities came quickly. The company was contracted to drill brine wells and build a gathering system to deliver brine to a local bromine plant and dispose of the wastewater.  In 1962, Thomas Jeffrey returned to his passion of independent consulting and Howard Westerman became the controlling owner and chief executive officer of J-W Operating Company.

Howard G. Westerman
1928 - 1999

Over the years Mr. Westerman's endeavors spawned several patents and trademarks, including the Superburn® compressor with a two-cycle stratified engine. Owning and operating pipelines and compressors opened the door to the oil and gas exploration and production business with discoveries in Northeast Colorado and Northern Louisiana. In 1983 he created Cohort Energy Company to handle the exploration and production operations. In the late 80s, he ventured into power generation from landfill gas. In the 90s, he implemented an aggressive growth strategy and complemented his staff with professional managers whose charge was to double the size of J-W Operating Company.

Ever the entrepreneur, Howard invested in scores of other smaller ventures too numerous to mention. He was a successful businessman, engineer, pilot, a dedicated patriot, a generous humanitarian and above all a man of deep religious conviction. H.G. Westerman built a fully-integrated Energy Services and Energy Development organization. Although Mr. Westerman, died on April 4, 1999 he left a corporation and employee-base well prepared for future growth and opportunities.

In September 2010, the company was restructured.  The new name of the corporation became J-W Energy Company to better reflect the company's current scope of services. 


  J-W Power Company

First Compressor Package
Manufactured 1976 

Howard Westerman's involvement with gas pipelines and fascination of mechanical equipment led to his interest in gas compressors. J-W Power Company was officially formed August 19, 1988, but was leasing compressor packages purchased from third parties as far back as October 1966 under the parent company's name of J-W Operating Company.

The majority of this early equipment was slow-speed integral compressors manufactured by Ajax. When Ariel Corporation began manufacturing high-speed separable compressors, J-W Power Company was one of the early packagers with Ariel becoming the mainstay of the current lease fleet.

J-W Power Company fabricated its first compressor package, an Ariel JGM/2 compressor driven by a Witte engine rated 18 BHP @ 1400 RPM, in May 1976 in a small shop in Longview, TX. Needing a place to test his ideas for improving gas compressor packages, Mr. Westerman constructed a larger plant on the outskirts of Longview, TX in January 1978 which is still in operation today. Since that time J-W Power Company has been an innovator in gas compressor package design, currently holding many patents and trademarks. J-W Power Company actually packaged some of the industry's first oil-flooded rotary screws in December 1978 and in October of 1986 patented a two-stroke stratified engine later known as the Superburn®.

J-W Power Company has expanded primarily through organic growth with a few strategic acquisitions in core areas since buying that first compressor. J-W Power Company is currently considered an industry leader in leasing, service, fabrication and sales of natural gas compression equipment. J-W Power Company is currently the largest privately-owned compression packager and is considered one of the premier manufacturers of packaged gas compressors while providing some of the best maintenance service in the industry.