Challenges in the Oil Industry

Paul M.“Mitch” Harris, when he receives his award in Denver, will become the 68th Powers medalist in AAPG history, first awarded in 1945 to legendary geologist Wallace E. Pratt.

The Powers Award is given annually in recognition of distinguished and outstanding contributions to, or achievements in, petroleum geology.

Sidney Powers himself was a founding member and 14th president of the Association. He died in 1932 at the age of 42.

Frank R. Clark, in his memorial to Sidney Powers, said, “Sidney Powers will be known by future generations for his able contributions to pure and applied geology, but, important as are his scientific achievements, his character was greater, because it typified service to others.”

Harris’ contributions to science as well as his character and mentoring achievements both within and outside of Chevron have exemplified a life of service.

He is a widely recognized specialist in stratigraphic, depositional facies-related and diagenetic problems that pertain to carbonate reservoirs and exploration plays in most carbonate basins worldwide. He also has been praised for his strong interpersonal communication, organization and teaching skills, typified by his team-oriented approach to problem solving.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from West Virginia University, and his doctorate in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.

He began his career in 1977 as a research associate in Houston with Getty Oil, and one year later became a project geologist for Gulf Research and Development, also in Houston.

He joined Chevron Energy in San Ramon, Calif., in 1985 as a senior research geologist, where he has continued his career as a staff research scientist, carbonate reservoir consultant and, in 2006, being named senior research consultant.

He is an adjunct faculty member at Rice University, the University of Miami and the University of Southern California.

Harris also has been published in more than 200 books, journals and guidebooks; served as an editor on 30 volumes; and with AAPG has won the John W. Shelton Search and Discovery Award, the Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award and twice won the Robert H. Dott Sr. Memorial Award.

Alfredo E. Guzmán is the ninth recipient of the Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award, given in recognition of outstanding and exceptional leadership in the petroleum geosciences.

He has a long record of achievements, both as a petroleum geologist and in leadership positions, particularly in the Mexican and Latin American petroleum industry.

Many of his professional successes, both onshore and offshore, have been with Pemex, the Mexican state oil company, where he received the highest position ever for a geologist – sub-director of the North Regions.

After retiring from Pemex Guzmán has been instrumental in Mexico as a commissioner in the National Hydrocarbon Commission, working to help revise exploration policies in Mexico.

A three-time past AAPG Distinguished Lecturer, Guzmán was president of the AAPG Latin America Region in 2005, and served on the AAPG Executive Committee as vice president-Regions in 2009-11.

Interviews with both Harris and Guzmán will be published in a future EXPLORER.

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