Colonel Edwin L. Drake Legendary Oilman Award
“Honoring a lifetime of achievement within the oil and gas industry”
Willard M. “Bill” Cline: is a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania, and has been an oil producer in the Bradford Field since 1946. A member of the class of 1943 at Bradford High School, Bill’s career in the oil business was interrupted in March of the next year when he was drafted to serve in World War II. He chose the U.S. Navy and served until April 1946 in the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Hamul—a destroyer tender, eventually achieving the rank of Boatswains Mate 2nd class. He was honorably discharged at the end of the war and described by his superiors as “a natural leader”.
After the war, Bill returned to Bradford and worked for a short time for the bank that held receivership of the oil properties his father had lost while he was at sea. To keep his dream of having his own company afloat, Bill also serviced and plugged wells as a contractor and sold pipe from the wells he plugged. He was eventually able to reach an agreement with the bank and gained ownership of his first 22 wells in McKean County. He then successfully drilled many oil wells on “town lots” in the city of Bradford in the 1950s through the 1980s. In the 1960s and ‘70s he acquired and operated numerous properties previously owned by South Penn Oil Company—a Pennzoil predecessor.
Bill operated for 60+ years as “Willard M. Cline, Sole Proprietor”. But in 2013, at the age of 87, he finally relented and incorporated, assuming the position of president of Cline Oil, Inc. He has two sons, Willard L. and Mark, Sr., who are employed by Cline Oil and have worked with their dad since they were young boys. His wife, Joyce, came on board fulltime in the 1980s when bookkeeping became complicated due the imposition of the Windfall Profits Tax. A grandson, Mark Jr., joined the family business in 2006. Today the company has ten fulltime employs.
From the oil price lows in the early years and the mid-1980s and 1990s to the high prices in 2008 through today, Bill’s life work has always been to fight for the survival of the small “mom and pop” oil producers, like himself, against government over-regulation. He organized producers in the Bradford area when the city attempted to ban drilling and severely restrict oil producing activities within the city limits and was able to influence the much more acceptable laws that were eventually enacted. He served as president of Bradford District Pennsylvania Oil Producers Association and remained an active board member of its successor organization, Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association (POGAM), until the 1980’s when he was asked to serve on the board of directors of the newly-formed Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers Association (PIPP).
PIPP was formed as a result of the Oil and Gas Act of 1984 which caught most small producer’s off-guard, imposing unaffordable and unreasonable regulations, brought on by the influx of “outsiders” who came to the Bradford Field during that decade’s oil boom. PIPP has been successful in reducing many of the burdens imposed on small producers and Bill has been a leader in that group for nearly 30 years now. He is a respected voice among his peers within the industry and a voice to be reckoned with among those in state government that write and enforce the laws and regulations. He is also the “go-to” man of experience among his fellow producers whenever they need an expert to help solve a problem they are having “down-hole”.
Also of note, Bill—
- Was a charter member in 1974 of Pennsylvania Oil and Gas, the successor to Northwestern Oil Producers Association and Bradford District Pennsylvania Oil Producers Association;
- Served as chairman of the Bradford City Planning Commission for many years;
- Organized the Fifth Ward Taxpayers Association which successfully changed the final plans for the Route 219 bypass through the city of Bradford, saving the home where he had lived most of his life;
- Was instrumental in forming the Petroleum Production Training Class at Bradford Area High School in the 1970s, also serving on the committee that wrote the curriculum for the course;
- Was awarded an “Administrator’s Award for Excellence” from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2005;
- Received a commendation in 2008 from the Bradford City Fire Department for the many years he helped the department whenever and however needed;
- Was recognized by PIPP in 2012, along with his wife, Joyce, for their “dedicated service to small independent oil and gas operators in Pennsylvania”;
- Long-time member of Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the National Stripper Well Association.
By 1993, due to its reputation and growth, the company became an official corporation. Today Plants and Goodwin, Inc. performs a variety of jobs for oil and natural gas producers in Southwestern New York State and Northwestern Pennsylvania. They drill and service wells, as well as transport crude oil. They also plug wells and provide a variety of trucking services
In 2000 Paul joined a newly formed board of directors for the Pioneer Oil Museum of New York located in Bolivar, New York. Asked to serve as president for this new group, he readily accepted and still continues to hold that position to this day. During his tenure as president, the museum has grown exponentially. He was the driving force behind the Museum’s acquisition and subsequent development of an old, run-down oil pipe supply company in Bolivar. Under his guidance, this site has become a second venue for the museum which has allowed for growth and expansion as well as increased display and exhibit capabilities.
Whenever Paul is asked for assistance with a museum project, he provides his company’s employees and pays them out of his own pocket. On multiple occasions he has supplied company materials and equipment to help complete projects. In addition he has given much financial assistance to help the museum grow and develop.
For twelve years Paul served as the president of the New York State Oil Producer’s Association, during which time he orchestrated many noticeable changes which both improved that organization as well as helped it to grow. After stepping down he still stayed involved by assuming the vice-president’s position. Today his son Steve serves as president.
Paul is both an extremely humble and unassuming man. He is deeply religious and is married to his wife of many years, Eloise. They have three sons and one daughter.
Geology is not only my profession, it is also my hobby. – John Amoruso
A native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, John attending Tufts University on a Regular NROTC scholarship. Not originally a geology major, but after taking an elective course taught by Robert Nichols, he was hooked and immediately change his major to study more about the rocks, minerals, and the earth. Upon completing his B. S. in Geology in 1852, he received a regular commission as an ensign in the U. S. Navy; serving aboard the USS English. After his service, John entered graduate school at the University of Michigan, where he not only earned his M.S., but he also met Camille Klach whom he married after she completed her pharmacy degree.
John’s was with Pan-American Petroleum Corporation for 12 years, during which time he worked in many of the world’s petroleum fields. In 1969, he started his own business, with offices in Houston, as an independent petroleum geologist. That was the beginning of a life-long search for oil and gas, mostly in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. In 1977, he became a general partner of the Amoruso Petroleum Company which coordinates investors for petroleum exploration drilling companies and provided consulting services. When in 1976 the federal government allowed a consortium of 20 petroleum companies to share the cost of gathering information on the first geological drilling off-shore along the Atlantic Continental Shelf, the consortium sought him out to supervise the entire two-year geosciences project. One of his latest discoveries was a major gas field (2007 estimates are 2.4 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas) which has been named in his honor. Mr. Amoruso’s contribution to the industry has been recognized with the GCAGS Don R. Boyd Award for Excellence in Gulf Coast Geology, the AAPG Michel T. Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award, and the AAPG 2010 Outstanding Explorer Award. He has served as president of five major geological organizations. Currently he is a partner in Legends Explorations.
Mr. Amoruso and his wife have two sons, James and Michael, who live in the Houston area. James and his wife, Patty, have two sons, Christopher and David. Michael and his wife, Cathy, have a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Camille. He and his wife like to travel, especially their annual pilgrimage to see the New England fall colors. [Modified from: http://www.tuftsalumni.org/news/alumni-profiles/john-amoruso-a52/]
Robert D. Gunn began his studies at the University of Minnesota in 1943, but his studies were interrupted during World War II when he served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps from 1943-1946. He returned to academic work in 1947 at the University of Tulsa where he majored in petroleum geology from 1947-48. He completed his B.A. in Geology at the University of Minnesota in 1949 and immediately began working as a geologist with TEXACO. In 1953 Robert started his career as a consulting geologist, and in 1958, as an independent petroleum geologist, he founded Gunn Oil Company in Wichita Fall, Texas. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Gunn Oil Company, and is a member of the Board of Directors and a co-owner of Globex (a global exploration company).
He has published several papers related to the sedimentology of the Palo Duro, Fort Worth, and Knox-Baylor Basins of Texas. He joined AAPG in 1953 and has served as President of the Southwest Section 1975-76, and as AAPG President 1978-79. Currently he is Chairman/Past-President of AAPG, and his contribution to the industry and to AAPG has been recognized with the AAPG Honorary Membership (1986), Distinguished Public Service Award (1986), Division of Professional Affairs Life Membership (1990), Sydney Powers Memorial Medal (1997) – highest award given by AAPG, and the Division of Professional Affairs Distinguished Service Award (2005). He is to receive the Lewis Austin Weeks Memorial Medal from the AAPG Foundation in 2013. Robert also served as President of the North Texas Geological Society 1969-70. He maintains membership in the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Independent Petroleum Association of America (Director 1982-88), American Institute of Professional Geologists, and the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists.
Over the years Robert has been active in many community and service organizations, including Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wichita Fall (President 1973-74; Chair of the Board 1995-present); Board of Wichita General Hospital (1984-86); and as a member of the Midwestern State University President’s Excellence Circle (1998-present, and Co-chair 2002-2007, 2009-present). His civic work has been recognized with many awards including the Boys Club Medallion and the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service.
Robert and Carol Carlson Gunn raised four children and two step-children and they are grandparents to 13 and great-grandparents to 12. Their home is in Wichita Falls, Texas.
William Herbert Hunt was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, the son of Haroldson (H.L. Hunt). He is a graduate of Washington & Lee University with a BS in geology (1951). His early experience in the oil industry included summers working as an office boy, mail clerk, draftsman and a roughneck. He drilled his first well in the summer of 1950, resulting in a small field discovery in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana.
Mr. Hunt began full time employment in 1951 working with Hunt Oil Company and the numerous other Hunt entities in upstream, mid-stream, downstream, and service sectors, both domestically and internationally. He was involved in the discovery and development of some giant oil fields, such as Fairway in East Texas, Louisiana’s Black Lake Field, and Sarir and Messla in Libya. He currently serves as Advisor to Management at Petro-Hunt, LLC with principle exploration operation areas in the onshore Gulf Coast and the Williston Basin.
Mr. Hunt has been a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist since 1953 and was awarded their Pioneer Award in 2007. He has served on the board of the American Petroleum Institute, the American Association of Drilling Contractors, and the National Ocean Industries Association. His numerous industry awards include the Outstanding Wildcatter Award (All American Wildcatters), the Legends Award (Texas Alliance and Energy), and the Legend of the Industry Award (The 1999 A & D Summit).
He has served on the board and as president of the Dallas Petroleum Club and as president and on the board of the Circle 10 Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is a member of the Highland Park Presbyterian Church where he has served on numerous committees and as a Deacon and now an Elder. He has also served on the boards of the Wadley Blood Bank & Research Institute and the Presbyterian Hospital – Professional Building Corporation.
William E. (Bill) Gipson is an oil man of the first class, an acclaimed vintner, a serious rancher, and a fellow who just happens to be one of the most admired and respected geologists in the country.
Bill Gipson is a native of East Texas. He attended Kilgore Junior College and Southern Methodist University (both of which were to later honor him) before joining the U. S. Navy for three years of service on an amphibious gunboat in the South Pacific. He then entered the University of Texas at Austin where he received a B. A. in Geology and, in 1949, a M. A. in Geology, with a minor in petroleum engineering.
Bill started his career in the oil patch in Midland, Texas with Marathon Oil in 1949. In 1953 he formed a consultancy (Gipson & Keyser) which later partnered with Liedtke, Ltd. Bill co-founded Stetco Petroleum in 1962, serving as Director & Vice President; the company merged with Pennzoil Company the next year. Locating in Houston, he worked with Pennzoil until 1977, first as Vice President for Exploration, later as Executive Vice President & Director of Pennzoil Offshore Gas Operators (POGO), and finally as Executive Vice President & Director of all Pennzoil Domestic & International Oil & Gas Subsidiary Companies. When Pogo Producing Company was formed, Bill served as President from 1977 to 1989, as consultant and managing director of exploration from 1989 to 1991 and served as Director from 1977 to 1989. Currently, Gipson is currently an investor and petroleum geology consultant in Houston, owner of GM Farms in Upshur, Texas, his native area of East Texas, and principal owner of Pheasant Ridge Vineyards and Winery.
Bill Gipson is a long-time member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists serving on numerous committees, including Chairman of the Industry Liaison Committee and Chairman of the AAPG Foundation Trustee Associates, and where he now serves as an elected Trustee and Treasurer of the AAPG Foundation. Bill has been long active at the national policy level, serving on numerous committees and boards, including Chairman of the American Petroleum Institute Committee of Exploration Affairs, the Outer Continental Shelf Policy Advisory Board (advisory to the Secretary of Interior) and the National Petroleum Council (advisory to the Secretary of Energy). He was director and president of the Domestic Petroleum Council as well as a director of the National Ocean Industries Association. He is a member of the exclusive and prestigious All American Wildcatters Association and currently serves as Trustee of the American Geosciences Institute Foundation.
For more than four decades Bill Gipson has served on the Geology Foundation Advisory Council of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He chaired the Council in 1987-1989 and was elected an Honorary Life Member in 1991. At, UT Austin, Gipson has been honored as a Distinguished Graduate in Geological Sciences, inducted into the Hall of Honor of the College of Natural Sciences and named to the Jackson School of Geosciences Hall of Distinction, where he is also a member of both the Hill Society and the Barrow Founders Circle. Bill is an Honorary Member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Bill Gipson has long supported his home community of Houston, serving as director of several organizations, including the Houston Metropolitan YMCA and the Houston Youth Symphony & Ballet. He is a former President of the Houston Club as well as a former President of the Mid-Coast Santa Gertrudis Cattle Association. He is currently a member of the DeBakey Heart Institute Advisory Council of the Methodist Hospital and a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Houston.
I. L. (Ike) Morris, Founder and President, Waco Oil & Gas, Inc.
A native of Oklahoma, but raised in southern Illinois, Mr. Morris is a second generation oil man as his father was in the oil and gas business and he grew up servicing wells. In 1962 he moved to Gilmer County, West Virginia, and set up his first business, Morris Wells Service. As he is quoted as saying, at that time, “I was about the only labor I had.” In 1975 he founded Waco Oil & Gas; then as now, headquartered in Glenville, West Virginia. The company has grown to one of the leading oil and gas companies in West Virginia with approximately 100 employees covering most areas of oil and gas services, such as land, technology and mapping, accounting, drilling, production and field service. Recently the Company completed construction of a 30 mile “gathering system” in Harrison and Marion Counties, and is currently constructing a similar system in Doddridge County. And like most companies in the Appalachian Basin, Waco is active in the Marcellus Shale play and has about one Marcellus well every two weeks. In the past 30 years, Waco, under Mr. Morris’ direction, has drilled over 1,000 producing wells in West Virginia.
Mr. Morris is also well known for his philanthropic activity, and an avid supporter of West Virginia University. At Glenville State College, Mr. Morris and his wife Sue provided the funds to construct Morris Stadium in 2001, and recently they arranged to fund that athletic department so the young players would not have to pay a fee to play their sport, thus protecting 11 sports programs at the school. And there is a bridge crossing the Kanawha River on WV 5 in Gilmer County named in his honor. Among his many other awards and honors in 2003 Mr. Morris was named Honorary Italian-American by the West Virginia Italian-American Heritage Festival at Clarksburg. (Photograph courtesy of Corridor Magazine)
Ralph W. Baird is the founder of Baird Petrophysical Group, a Houston based international geophysical services company specializing in applying exploration technologies to solve petroleum engineering problems. Mr. Baird is also a co-founder of PetroDevelopment Partners, a Texas and California based private equity fund. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1971. He did graduate studies at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University and the University of Houston.
Baird is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Colorado and a licensed professional geoscientist in the state of Texas. He is also a certified professional geologist with the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and a certified professional geophysicist with the Division of Professional Affairs (DPA) of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). He is a longtime member and has held offices and chaired committees of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the AAPG, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), the Geophysical Society of Houston and many other local, national and international learned and professional societies. For 2011-2014 Baird serves as councilor of the Division of Professional Affairs of the AAPG. Mr. Baird is a licensed commercial pilot and a licensed amateur radio operator.
In 2005, Baird was called by the Harris County Sheriff to assist in the search for missing persons by using appropriate oilfield technology and methods. He joined the search and recovery team of Texas EquuSearch and now has participated in hundreds of field searches for missing loved ones. Today be continues to serve families of lost loved ones as technical advisor and is active on the board of directors of Texas EquuSearch. Texas EquuSearch is best known by its search for Natalie Holloway in Aruba.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the highly successful International Geophysical Year (IGY), Mr. Baird served as international coordinator of the Electronic Geophysical Year (2007-2009) and serves as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the development committee of the UN-UNESCO initiative International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), now with national committees in 80 countries.
William L. Fisher is the Leonidas T. Barrow Chair and Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he served as the Inaugural Dean and the first Director of the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, a school he was instrumental in founding as well as securing its substantial endowment. He is a former long-time director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, former chairman of the Department of Geological Sciences and former director of the Geology Foundation. Dr. Fisher is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves currently as a member of the National Petroleum Council. He served as Assistant Secretary of Interior for Energy and Minerals under President Gerald Ford, and served on the White House Science Council under President Ronald Reagan. Dr. Fisher is past president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Association of American State Geologists, the American Geological Institute, the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, and the Austin Geological Society.
Dudley J. Hughes, a Louisiana native and geology graduate from Texas A&M in 1951, served in the military during the Korean War. While stationed at Ft. Bliss, he and Dan, his twin brother and also a geologist, purchased a federal gas lease in Eddy, New Mexico, the first of many leases they have owned. Since that first lease in 1951, Mr. Hughes has had a 40-year career in exploration geology that includes operating more than 10 oil and gas exploration companies in North and South America. Currently, Mr. Hughes serves as president of Hughes Oil Inc. and Hughes South Corp. Mr. Hughes’ professional contributions to geological exploration include extensive philanthropic donations. Mr. Hughes was named the 2009 Philanthropist of the Year by the state of Mississippi and has been a loyal supporter of the Texas A&M College of Geosciences. Most recently, he was instrumental in the endowment of the Texas A&M Berg-Hughes Center for Petroleum and Sedimentary Systems. He is the author of Oil in the Deep South: A History of the Oil Business in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, 1859-1945. In 2008, he received the Geologist of the Year award from the AAPG.
PHI is proud to honor John Comet of Oil City, Pennsylvania, for his contribution to the oil and gas industry. Mr. Comet was employed from 1934 through his retirement in 1978 by National Fuel Gas Company and its subsidiaries. He served as Junior Engineer, Geologist, Chief Geologist, Vice-President, and President from 1969 through 1974. From 1969 until 1983, Mr. Comet served as a Director of National Fuel Gas Company. He was also along-time member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Mr. Comet resided in Oil City, Pennsylvania, where he was an active member of the Oil City Rotary Club for decades, including serving as its President (1965-1966) and he was a Paul Harris Fellow. A Life Scout, he was a troop leader for seven years; former Board Member and President (1967, 1968) of The Colonel Drake Council of BSA. He was a former Board Member of the French Creek BSA Council. On April 6, 2009, Mr. Comet received the Cliff Dochterman Award, an International fellowship of scouting Rotarians.
Sadly Mr. John Comet passed away August 29, 2009.
Thomas Dugan, of Farmington, New Mexico, and his firm celebrated 50 years of production in the San Juan Basin on February 1st, 2009. He founded Dugan Production Company in 1961, and today his independent company owns 1,506 methane wells in the San Juan Basin. In 2007, Dugan Production Corporation and Red Mountain Energy merged to form CBM Partners, based in Farmington. Mr. Dugan is a 1950 petroleum engineering graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and he is the Past-President of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico. History, especially related to the history of the oil and natural gas industries, and in 2002, he and Emery Arnold co-authored the book, GAS: Adventures into the history of the San Juan Basin.
Frederick W. Fesenmyer, of Bradford, Pennsylvania, operates the Minard Run Oil Company, the world’s oldest family-owned independent oil company which has been under continuous family management since 1875. In that year, Senator Lewis Emery, Jr. established Emery Manufacturing, then in 1907, the Minard Run Oil Company was incorporated. Frederick Fesenmyer, Emery’s great-grandson, has been President and CEO of MROC since 1965. The Company currently has 65 employees and produces oil and gas from more than 15,000 acres within McKean County, Pennsylvania. Just in the last nine years, the Company has drilled more than 400 new wells. Mr. Fesenmyer is also the Chairman of the Board for the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Producers.
Roy Huffington (1917-2008). Ambassador Huffington is chair and CEO of Roy M. Huffington, Inc., an independent, international petroleum operations firm based in Houston. His distinguished career has included global oil and gas exploration, international business and military and diplomatic service. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent 10 years with Humble Oil and Refining Company, now ExxonMobil. In 1956 he founded Huffco, an oil and gas firm that began exploration in Indonesia in the late 1960s. In 1988 Newsweek listed Huffington as one of 25 Americans “in the forefront of building bridges to the East.” As U.S. ambassador to Austria from 1990 to 1993, he worked to open business opportunities between the newly accessible Eastern bloc countries and the West.
Among the many honors Huffington has received are the Gold Medallion Oil Pioneer Award from the Indonesian government, the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold for services to the Republic of Austria, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Henry Laurence Gantt Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement from the American Petroleum Institute. He also is chairman emeritus of both the international Asia Society in New York City and the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria.
A Legacy of Leadership
Ambassador Huffington’s association with SMU began as an undergraduate. He earned a B.S. degree in geology from SMU in 1938 and then earned both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Harvard University. His late wife, Phyllis Gough Huffington, earned her B.B.A. degree from SMU in 1943. Huffington has received distinguished alumni awards from SMU and the Harvard Business School. He also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from SMU in 1990. A member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 1980–87, Huffington was named a trustee emeritus in 1991. In 1996 he and his wife received the Mustang Award for longtime service and philanthropy to the University. The Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences was established by a historic gift to SMU’s Dedman College from the Honorable Roy M. Huffington, ’38. The gift endows one of SMU’s founding and most distinguished academic departments, providing future resources for the growing importance of its research and teaching. http://www.smu.edu/earthsciences/wecelebrate/
Dr. Huffington died July 11, 2008 and we extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Thomas D. Barrow, former president of Humble Oil and Refining Co. (later Exxon), Member of the Exxon of Directors (retired 1978), became Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of SOHIO and currently President and CEO of Thomson-Barrow Corporation. On January 13, 2003, Thomas (Tom) Barrow was honored by the Houston Geological Society (HGS) as a legend in wildcatting for his contributions to the petroleum industry. He was one of five special guests invited to this interactive forum. Tom learned early in his career how to think outside the box and applied the knowledge gained from good mentors to become a very successful oil finder. His father, L. T. Barrow, was the chief geologist (1929) and later chairman of the board (1937) for Humble Oil. He retired as chairman of the board in 1955. Tom Barrow worked his way through the ranks and into the highest echelons of two major oil companies. In the process, he had a unique perspective on the discovery of two major domestic oil fields; namely, the East Texas Field and Prudhoe Bay. In 1951, he joined Humble Oil and Refining Company (Exxon) as a geologist in California and by 1962 was named Southeastern Region Exploration Manager. He moved up the corporate ladder with Humble to become its senior vice president, president, and a member of its board of directors. In this capacity, Tom was responsible for Exxon’s worldwide E&P activities. Additionally, he was the contact director for Exxon Exploration and ESSO Eastern as well as corporate planning, mining, and synthetic fuels. His other corporate responsibilities included Exxon Research and Engineering Company, Imperial Oil Limited, Exxon Enterprises, Inc. as well as the Production and Science & Technology Division. After retiring from Exxon in November 1978, Barrow joined SOHIO as vice chairman. He was responsible for SOHIO’s oil and natural gas exploration and production activities, the worldwide minerals business of Kennecott (an indirect wholly owned subsidiary) as well as the corporate planning, research and development, and engineering and technology functions.
Robert D. Cowdery has distinguished himself in the practice of the science of petroleum geology and the management of an independent oil and gas company. His abilities have consistently resulted in advancement to top executive positions in important regional and national professional geological associations and through his efforts, the professional careers of many geology students and petroleum geologists have been enhanced. Robert Cowdery’s fifty-seven years of diligent and meritorious service to the petroleum industry and the geologists in it reflect most positively on him and have earned the Colonel Edwin E. Drake Legendary Oilman Award for 2006.
Robert “Bob” D. Cowdery was born in Lyons, Rice County, Kansas in 1928. His grandfather, an Ohioan and Civil War veteran came to Lyons in 1886, six years after the town was incorporated. Growing up as the youngest of four siblings, Bob was overshadowed by his older brother and sisters and was seen as the “underachiever” of the family. That opinion may have been belied by the fact that as a high school senior, he was a 135 pound guard on the Lyons High School football team.
Following high school graduation in 1944, he was inducted into the United States Army where after basic and technical training, he was destined for Saipan as a replacement infantryman for the invasion of Japan. Fortunately, the atomic bomb intervened and Bob ended up as a headquarters’ clerk and driver for the Staff Judge Advocates Office of the 24th Transportation Corps (Port of Honolulu).
Following his discharge in 1946, he returned to Kansas and enrolled as a geology student at Kansas State University in Manhattan. To compensate for time lost in the service, he crammed the four year curriculum into three years and one summer session graduating in the spring of 1949. That year, he found employment as a geologist with Cities Service Oil in Oklahoma City. In 1950, Cities Service transferred him to Great Bend, Kansas where during the next 12 months, he was on 90 wells. Catching his breath, in 1951 Bob accepted a position with Petroleum Incorporated in Wichita. Where he remained until the fall of 1953 when “Pet Inc.” moved to Denver. Not long in Denver, he met Mary Sue Barlow, a secretary for the Chief Geologist of Colorado Oil and Gas.
They married in October of 1954. Their two children, Craig and Patty were born in Denver. Bob and Sue remained in Denver until 1975 as the company ramped up operations, opening offices in Casper and Calgary. A move to back to Wichita was in order in 1975 when Petroleum promoted Bob to Vice-President for Exploration. He remained in that position for ten years until 1985 when he was promoted to the corporate presidency. Bob retired from Petroleum Incorporated in 1988 and since has been a “professional volunteer.”
He is both Technical Program and Public Relations Chairman for the Kansas Geological Society and a regular contributor of profiles and memorials in its Bulletin. Bob has held the presidencies of: the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Kansas Geological Society, Kansas Geological Foundation, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and served as Vice-President for Natural Resources of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists. He has been a practitioner of the martial arts for 37 years and holds the Sixth Degree Black Belt in tae kwon do. Bob has published a Black Belt Association newsletter for 13 years. Since retiring, Bob has traveled the country making presentations to foster the science of petroleum geology and to convince young people to follow it as a career. In his “spare time,” Bob avidly pursues his second lifelong interest in the science of archeology.
Funkhouser was born in Napoleon, Ohio, on June 9, 1921. He married Jean G. Cooper, also from the Oberlin Class of 1943, in 1946. Their four children include Donald, 41; Thomas, 39; David, 35; and Karen, 32.
Funkhouser joined Chevron Corporation, then known as Standard Oil Company of California, as a geologist in the Gulf Coast Area in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1948. He was named Division Exploration Superintendent for the California Company, Chevron’s Gulf Coast subsidiary, in 1956 and became Division Exploration Superintendent in Midland, Texas, for Standard Oil Company of Texas, another Chevron subsidiary, in 1961. In 1963, he was appointed Vice-President, Exploration, for Standard Oil Company of Texas in Houston.
In 1966, Funkhouser was appointed Vice-President, Exploration for Western Operations, Inc., Chevron’s West Coast operating subsidiary, in San Francisco. He assumed the position of Corporate Vice-President, Exploration, in 1968 and was elected a Director of Standard Oil Company of California in 1973.
Funkhouser was named Director and Vice-President, Exploration and Production, for Chevron Corporation in 1976. In that position, he guided Chevron’s worldwide upstream activities until his retirement in 1986.
In 1989, Funkhouser was a co-founder of Energy Exploration Management Company, an independent exploration group, and currently is a director and vice-president of the company.
During his professional career, Funkhouser was active in a number of professional and industrial societies and associations. He served as President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 1987-88 and as a member of the Association’s Advisory Board. He also served as a trustee of the AAPG Foundation from 1989-2001 and as their Chairman from 1991-2001.
In addition to honorary membership in the AAPG, Funkhouser has been awarded honorary membership in the Northern California Geological Society and in the Pacific Section of AAPG. He is a member of the Geological Society of America and has served as a trustee of the G.S.A. Foundation.
He is an All-American Wildcatter, holds membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and has served both as a member and as Chairman of the Earth Sciences Advisory Board at Stanford University. He has been a member of the American Petroleum Institute and is a past chairman of A.P.I.’s Committee on Exploration. He has served on the National Research Council’s Board on Mineral and Energy Resources and is currently a member of the N.R.C.’s Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Resources.
Academic Training: Louisiana State University: BS Degree – Petroleum Geology in 1950.
1950-54 Union Producing Company – 1950 Draftsman and Geological Scout in Jackson, Mississippi; 1950-54 Geologist in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1954-56 Seaboard Oil Company – Geologist in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1956-57 Trans-Tex Drilling Company – District Geologist in Lafayette, Louisiana.
1957-59 American Natural Gas Production Company – Head Geologist in Lafayette, Louisiana.
1959 Independent and Consulting Geologist in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Military Service: 1951-53 Served in United States Army.
A Sub-Regional Report Of The Camerina Zone Of Southwest Louisiana
Geostrategies – Where Have We Been And Where Are We Going?
No. 1 Play In The U.S.A. – South Louisiana Tuscaloosa Trend 1975-1980
South Louisiana Cretaceous Tuscaloosa Trend False River Field
I’ve Got A New Producer In South Louisiana — Now What?
The Number One Play In The U.S.A. – Summary Of Activity In The Tuscaloosa Trend Of South Central Louisiana
Washington, The Geologist, And The Energy Crisis.
The Future Of The Gulf Coast Basin
The Tuscaloosa Rejuvenated; Beaver Dam Creek and Baywood Fields, St. Helena Parish, Louisiana
We’re Giving The Opec Cartel Hell
Louisiana Tuscaloosa versus Southeast Texas Woodbine
The Geology And Development History Of Jennings Salt Dome 1901-1985,
A Clue To The Future Of Gulf Coast Salt Domes
The Camerina And Cibicides hazzardi Stratigraphic Intervals of Southwest Louisiana
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Certified Petroleum Geologist #1010 (Member 1954) President 1981.
American Institute of Professional Geologists; Certified Professional Geologist
State Vice-President 1978.
Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies–
Executive Committee 1959-60 – Convention Committee 1966 – General Chairman of 1974 Convention – Vice President 1979 – Best Paper Award 1962 – President 1980 – Honorary Member 1982.
Independent Petroleum Association of America;
Board of Directors 1971-73; Board of Directors, South Louisiana 1978 and 1989-90.
Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists; Vice-President 1969-70.
Lafayette Geological Society; President 1961-62 – Honorary Member 1970.
American Geological Institute; President 1989-90.
Louisiana Association of Independent Producers and Royalty Owners;
President 1977-78 – Board of Directors 1978-79 and 1989-90.
Geological Society of America
Houston Geological Society
New Orleans Geological Society
Baton Rouge Geological Society
Serves on the Board of Directors for Premier BanCorp, Inc.
Serves on the Board of Directors for Gulf States Utilities Company.
Serves on the Board of Directors for American Liberty Financial Corporation.
Serves on the Board of Trustees for the Lafayette General Medical Center.