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International Awards
15 February

Regional Awards
1 March

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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.

View past recipients.

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.

Eligibility Requirements

The conditions of eligibility are as follows:

  • The candidate chosen for the award must be a professional member of SPE.
  • The candidate must have at least 15 years professional experience in the petroleum industry.
  • Deceased members may not be nominated for SPE Awards. If a previously nominated candidate dies after 1 January in the year of presentation, and if duly selected for the award, the presentation shall be made posthumously in accordance with special procedures to be prescribed by the SPE Board of Directors. Posthumous award presentations are otherwise prohibited.
  • No officer or member of the International Board of Directors of the Society shall be eligible to receive the Award during and for a period of 24 months after the expiration of his or her term of service on the Board.
  • No member of the award selection committee shall be eligible to receive the Award while serving as a member of the award committee and for a period of 24 months after the expiration of his or her term of service on the committee.
  • No recipient of SPE Honorary Membership shall be eligible to receive the award.
  • The award may only be presented to an individual for truly outstanding achievement.
  • Self-nominated candidates are not eligible.
  • Past recipients of the award are ineligible to receive it a second time.

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