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joe roughnck

Texas artist Torg Thompson created “Joe Roughneck” for an advertisement.

Joe Roughneck and his rugged mug has symbolized the best of the U.S. oil patch since 1955. His sculpture has been dedicated in parks, saluted by Texas governors, and featured in newspaper and magazine articles.

A bronze Joe Roughneck presented annually as the petroleum industry’s “Chief Roughneck Award” honors a person whose achievements and character represent the highest ideals of the industry.

Thus far, Joe’s bronze bust has been presented to 57 Chief Roughnecks. Charles Davidson, chairman and CEO of Noble Energy, received the  2012 award during a November meeting of petroleum producers.

Sponsored by U. S. Steel Tubular Products (formerly Lone Star Steel Company), a subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation, the yearly event is a well known and popular event among the petroleum industry’s independent producers. Read the rest of this entry »


The Chief Roughneck Award recognizes one individual whose accomplishments and character represent the highest ideals of the oil and natural gas industry.
Read the rest of this entry »


October 21, 1921 – First Natural Gas Well in New Mexico

New Mexico’s first commercial natural gas service begins soon after the 1921 discovery.

New Mexico’s first commercial natural gas service began soon after a 1921 discovery near Aztec. Major oil discoveries will follow in the southeastern part of the state.

New Mexico’s natural gas industry is launched with the newly formed Aztec Oil Syndicate’s State No. 1 well about 15 miles northeast of Farmington in San Juan County.

The well produces 10 million cubic feet of natural gas daily and the crew uses a trimmed tree trunk with a two-inch pipe and shut-off valve to control the well until a proper wellhead can be shipped in from Colorado.

By Christmas, a pipeline reaches two miles into the town of Aztec where citizens celebrate New Mexico’s first commercial natural gas service. By 1922, natural gas can be purchased in Aztec at a flat rate of $2 a month for a heater and $2.25 for a stove.

Read more about the state’s petroleum history in New Mexico Oil Discovery. Read the rest of this entry »