Each year the Petroleum History Institute honors individuals who have made a contribution to the development and heritage of the international oil and gas industry. Nominations are welcome and should be forwarded to the Petroleum History Institute using our contact form.


Colonel Edwin L. Drake Legendary Oilman Award

The COLONEL EDWIN L. DRAKE LEGENDARY OILMAN AWARD is the highest award given by PHI and is directed to those persons who during their worthy careers have materially contributed to the process of finding, producing, transporting, and refining crude oil and natural gas. These recipients have enriched the oil and gas industry by contributing to its store of knowledge, technology, and history.


Samuel T. Pees Keeper of the Flame Award

The SAMUEL T. PEES KEEPER OF THE FLAME AWARD honors and recognizes individuals who have provided great service in preserving and bringing before the public the heritage and history of the oil and gas industry. The award bears the name of a long-time petroleum geologist, oil historian, and one of the founders of the Petroleum History Institute.

Past recipients include: Susan Beates (Archivist, Drake Well Museum), Marilyn Black (Oil Region Alliance for Business, Industry & Tourism), Bruce Wells (American Oil & Gas Historical Society), Will Wingo (Oil 150 Committee), and Barbara Zolli (Director, Drake Well Museum & Park).


Distinguished Service Award

Honoring individuals who have donated significant time, energy, and expertise to the advancement of the Petroleum History Institute.

Past recipients: Gerald M. Friedman (2003 – Charter Member of PHI; Founding Editor-Oil-Industry History), and William R. Brice (2005 – Charter Member and Inaugural President of PHI; Current Editor-Oil-Industry History).