Morris, Andrew J. "Jack"

April 22, 2004

MR. ANDREW J. "JACK" MORRIS, 88 of 400 Willow Valley Square, Lancaster, Pa., died Wednesday afternoon, April 14, 2004 at the Willow Valley Glenn following a brief illness. Born in Alabama, he was raised in Waynesburg, PA, the son of the late Thomas Henry and Laura Elms Morris, and the husband of the late Rita Mae Rottmund Morris, who died Sept. 1994. Formerly of Baltimore, MD., where he had lived for 30 years. He had also lived in Houston, TX., Caracus, Venezuala, and traveled throughout the world. He retired in 1980 as President of Crown Central Petroleum, where he worked for over 30 years. He was a 1937 graduate of Waynesburg College and attended the University of Pittsburg. A. J. (Jack) Morris' career in energy, spanning some 42 years, involved him in virtually every facet, both national and international, of the oil and gas industry. Best known as the former President and Chief Operating Officer (1975 - 1980) of Crown Central Petroleum. Mr. Morris served 24 years with that corporation, including terms as Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President, and had been a member of Crown's Board of Directors since 1965. Since his retirement in 1980, Mr. Morris had been an energy consultant and continued to serve as a Director of Crown. During the period of his service, Crown grew from an East Coast gasoline marketer with a small Houston refinery to a large independent oil company engaged in producing, transporting, refining and marketing petroleum products and petrochemicals. Its sales grew from $150 million in 1953 to $1.25 billion in 1980. When Mr. Morris took his first position with Crown as Manager, and later Vice President, of Supply and Transportation, Crown had no pipeline system. He was instrumental in acquiring both their interest in the Rancho System Pipeline and their crude oil gathering and trunk line systems serving oil fields in Texas and New Mexico. He also played a pivotal role in expanding Crown's exploration and production from nominal amounts to its current level of approximately 7, 000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent in gas per day. Its refinery capacity was increased during his tenure from 35, 000 to 100, 000 barrels per day, and its marketing strategies were significantly improved. In the process of building Crown into a diversified oil company, Mr. Morris originated or directed Crown's participation in a variety of joint ventures and other activities involving not only oil and gas, but petrochemicals, coke and coal. For example, Mr. Morris was instrumental in Crown's first offshore production venture in the Gulf of Mexico. He was also responsible for Crown's successful entry into the petrochemical business, which involved manufacture and sale of aromatics for both domestic and international sales. Crown also developed a petroleum coke and calcine coke joint venture under his leadership. In addition, Crown purchased a 50 percent interest in two coal mining operations, Race Fork Coal Corporation and Pioneer Coal Company, of which Mr. Morris served as a Director. In the late 1970s, Crown formed a joint venture with two other corporate partners to build an East Coast refinery which would have the capability to process the plentiful high sulphur and heavy crude oils. Although the economic turnaround led to the abandonment of that project this year, the experience gained continues to be useful as similar projects are being considered. During Mr. Morris' presidency, Crown developed a comprehensive strategy to secure a long-term supply of crude oil. One element of the strategy involved the formation of international buying and trading organizations which operated from London and Curacao. The London office was established in 1974 (Crown Central International UK Ltd.) to service the purchases of crude oil, and in the same year an international subsidiary was organized in Curacao (Crowncen International, N.V.) to assist in the acquisition of foreign crude oil supplies. These operations functioned under Mr. Morris' supervision and involved negotiations and contacts with virtually every oil producing nation. A second element of the strategy was the formation of Nigus Petroleum, Ltd., a private enterprise joint venture by Crown and a Nigerian national for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas reserves in waters adjacent to the Nigerian shoreline. This venture is still in operation. Mr. Morris had also represented Crown in an intensive examination of the possibility of constructing a large refinery in Iran as a consortium among the National Iranian Oil Company and six U.S. oil companies. The negotiations for the project began before the 1973 oil embargo and were abandoned as economically unfeasible after the crude oil price increased following the embargo. On behalf of Crown, Mr. Morris had also been involved in multi-national planning functions. As the corporate member of the International Energy Agency (IEA), he participated in the agency's efforts to prepare for interruption of international supplies. He was also a member of the National Petroleum Council task force to study domestic and international refinery capacity and capability. The purpose of the study was to advise the U.S. government in developing its petroleum policies. From 1961 until 1964, Mr. Morris was Vice President of the Permian Corporation, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, in charge of their Rocky Mountain Division. The Permian Corporation is the largest independent crude reseller in the U.S. It also operates pipelines and truck lines and supplies drilling oil to producers. From 1947 until 1953, Mr. Morris was employed by subsidiaries of Atlantic Refining Company in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1947, he became General Superintendent of Pipelines for Venezuelan Atlantic Refining Company (VARCO) designing, constructing and operating that company's crude oil pipelines in Venezuela. In 1950, he became General Superintendent of Venezuelan Atlantic Transmission Corp. (VATCORP) with responsibility for designing, constructing and placing in operation and operating a natural gas pipeline. The VATCORP project was the first natural gas system constructed in South America, and Mr. Morris was responsible for all phases of the project, which extended from production, transportation through the pipeline, and ultimate sale to the consumer. During World War II and immediately thereafter, Mr. Morris was a Forecasting Engineer with the War Emergency Pipelines, which scheduled transportation of petroleum products to terminals for shipment overseas. It was responsible for constructing the "Big Inch" pipeline from Houston to New York and Philadelphia. The pipeline supplied petroleum products to a large portion of the East Coast and for overseas shipment. It was later purchased from the government by Texas Eastern. Mr. Morris served as Assistant Chief for right-of-way and claims during construction. Mr. Morris was a participant in the Fifth Annual International Conference of the International Association of Energy Economists held in New Dehli, India from January 4 - 6, 1984. He spoke on the subject "A Dynamic Framework for Petroleum Legislation in Developing Countries; Interaction Between Economic and Legal Issues," and served as Chairman of the Plenary Session on Energy Policies and Prospects. Mr. Morris was engaged by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakstan, Russia as a consultant in the development of their oil and gas reserves; with meetings in Almaty and London. Mr. Morris had also been very active in community affairs and served as a Director, Member of the Executive Committee and Treasurer of the Independent College Fund of Maryland. He was a member of the Twenty-Five Year Club of the Petroleum Industry and held memberships and various offices in such groups as the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipelines, the National Petroleum Refiners Association, the National Petroleum Council, the Center Club and the Houston Club. Mr. Morris was a trustee Emeritus of Waynesburg College, and in 1998, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree by the College. In April 1999, Waynesburg College dedicated the A. J. and Rita Morris International Center housed in the Stover Campus Center, in honor of the establishment by Mr. Morris of the A. J. and Rita Morris International Scholarship Program ("The Morris Scholar") at the college. He is survived by six nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by a sister Ruth Lunette Scherrer. Relatives and friends respectfully invited to attended his Life Celebration from Fred F. Groff Inc., 234 West Orange St., Lancaster, PA, on Tuesday at 1:00 P.M., with the Rev. Peter E. Ostrander officiating. Interment was held in St. Joseph New Catholic Cemetery, Lancaster, PA. Family received friends at Groff's on Tuesday from 12:00 P.M. until the time of service. If desired, memorials may be sent in Jack's memory to the A. J. & Rita Morris International Scholarship Program, Waynesburg College, 51 West College Street, Waynesburg, PA, 15370-1222.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.