DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal

The DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal recognizes distinguished service to SPE, the profession of engineering and geology, and to the petroleum industry. Recipients of this award automatically become Distinguished Members.

View a list of Previous Medal Recipients+

Nominee Eligibility

  • Must be a living member of SPE as of May 1 of the nomination year.
  • Must have at least 15 years professional experience in the petroleum industry.
  • Nominee is not eligible if they are on the current SPE Board of Directors, DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal award committee, or have served in these positions during the past 2 years.
  • You cannot nominate yourself.

To Nominate

  1. Fill out nomination form.
  2. Complete all required information on nomination form; incomplete nominations will not be accepted.
  3. Include a complete statement of the reasons for proposing the candidate, with a record of the candidate's professional and industrial achievements in detail.
  4. Collaborate with colleagues to send letters supporting this nomination.

All information about the candidate and their qualifications for the award must be included on the online nomination form. Candidates will be sent an email requesting a CV/resume when you submit the nomination. Nominations and letters of recommendation are confidential. Candidates remain on the active consideration list for 3 years. If a candidate is not selected during the 3-year active consideration cycle, you can nominate them again if all other eligibility requirements are met.


About Everette Lee DeGolyer

Everette Lee DeGolyer was born in a sod house near Greensburg, Kansas in 1886. During his career, he was the most renowned petroleum geologist in the world. He was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and gained international fame in several fields of endeavor. As a 24 year old college student, he became a field geologist for the Mexican Eagle Oil Company, Ltd., and move on to become geologist, chief geologist and consulting geologist for the firm. During this period, he located the Potrero del Llano No. 4, the worlds largest oil well, which produced some 125 million barrels of oil during its life and located the discovery well of the Los Naranjos field, which has produced more than 1.24 billion barrels. He did early work in the field of geophysics as it applied to the petroleum industry, introducing torsion balance as an oil exploration tool and the use of both refraction and reflection seismographs for oil exploration.

DeGolyer organized Amerada Petroleum Corporation in 1919, serving as general manager, president and chairman of the board. He also organized Geophysical Research Corporation as an Amerada subsidiary. In 1936, he opened consulting offices in Dallas with Lewis W. MacNaughton and remained as senior partner of the firm until his death in 1956. As a member of AIME, he became the first Petroleum President of the Institute in 1927. In 1940, he was the third recipient of the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal and received AIME’s highest honor, Honorary Membership.

DeGolyer held numerous AIME positions including vice-president (1921-26) and Petroleum Division chairman (1923-25). He was an organizer of AAPG, and served as its president in 1925. Oklahoma University bestowed on him its first Distinguished Service Citation. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Sciences.

The DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal recognizes distinguished and outstanding service to SPE, the professions of engineering and/or geology, and to the petroleum industry. The candidate must be a member of SPE with at least 15 years professional experience in the petroleum industry.