Every year since 1955, the Chief Roughneck award has recognized one individual whose accomplishments and character represent the highest ideals of the oil and natural gas industry.

Lone Star Steel Company, later U.S. Steel Tubular Products, established the Chief Roughneck Award to honor the lifetime achievements of the industry’s leading independent producers.

A representative of the oilfield service company has traditionally presented the award — a distinctive bronze bust of an oilfield worker — at the fall annual meetings of the national trade association representing independents.

Drawing of "Joe Roughneck" by Texas artist Torg Thompson.

Texas artist Torg Thompson created “Joe Roughneck” for 1950s Lone Star Steel tubular goods print advertisements.

The Chief Roughneck Award has been presented annually since 1955 during the fall meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). The award has been among the leading business recognition annual awards in the U.S. petroleum industry, especially among small, family owned independent operators. Today headquartered in Washington, D.C., IPAA was founded in 1929 by Wirt Franklin and other independent producers in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Oilfield Ad to Award

Founded in Tulsa in 1929 and now headquartered in Washington, D.C., IPAA presents award winners with a “Joe Roughneck” bust, originally created by artist Torg Thompson. The original square-jawed image of Joe began in Lone Star Steel print advertising. His bandaged face was adopted by the drilling industry by popular demand, becoming “as universal as a rotary rig.”

Joe Roughneck Lone Star Steel ad 1957

Detail from a 1957 Lone Star Steel “Joe Roughneck” advertisement.

Today, U.S. Steel Tubular Products is a subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation. Joe’s bronze bust can be found atop oilfield memorials in four Texas parks. Joe Roughneck has been saluted by two Texas governors, named “Man of the Month” by a trade magazine, and been the subject of countless newspaper articles, along with bemused radio and television commentaries.

AOGHS membership ad for 2020

Learn more in Meet Joe Roughneck.

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2020 – No award given due to Covid-19 health restrictions.

2019 Chief Roughneck: Oxy  President Vicki Hollub

Vicki Hollub, president and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum, was awarded the 2019 Chief Roughneck Award during the 90th annual IPAA meeting on November 8 in Washington, D.C. The traditional Chief Roughneck bronze bust and hard hat was presented to her by U. S. Steel Senior Vice President Douglas Matthews.

Hullub is only the second woman Chief Roughneck among the 64 recipients; independent producer Irene Wischer, president and CEO, Panhandle Producing Company, received the award in 1992.

2019 Chief Roughneck Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum

Vicki Hollub, president and CEO, Occidental Petroleum Corporation

According to the 2019 Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, which Hollub chairs, she has held management and technical positions in the United States, Russia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. She has overseen Oxy’s oil and natural gas, chemical, and midstream operations.

“Ms. Hollub serves on the boards of Lockheed Martin, the American Petroleum Institute, and Khalifa University for Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. She is the U.S. chair for the U.S.- Colombia Business Council. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Ms. Hollub holds a Bachelor of Science in Mineral Engineering. She was inducted into the University of Alabama College of Engineering 2016 class of Distinguished Engineering Fellows.”

Concho CEO named 2018 Chief Roughneck

Timothy A. Leach, chairman and CEO of Midland, Texas-based Concho Resources, received the 2018 Chief Roughneck Award during the 89th annual meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). The award was presented on November 13 by an officer of U. S. Steel, Senior Vice President Douglas Matthews.

Mathews presented Leach with the traditional Chief Roughneck bronze bust and hard hat

2018 chief roughneck Concho Chairman and CEO Tim Leach.

Concho Resources Chairman and CEO Tim Leach.

at the IPAA meeting in New Orleans. Matthews noted Concho Resources had become the largest producer of unconventional shale in the Permian Basin, adding, “Tim’s vision and persistence make him the perfect choice for the 2018 Chief Roughneck Award.”

Prior to founding Concho in 2004, Leach served in various positions with Parker & Parsley, including executive vice president. He holds a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and a M.B.A. from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. In 2013, Leach was inducted into the Petroleum Museum Hall of Fame in Midland, Texas.

Chief Roughneck Award Recipients since 1955

2020 Chief Roughneck

No award due to Covid-19

2019 Chief Roughneck
Vicki Hollub
President and CEO
Occidental Petroleum

2018 Chief Roughneck
Timothy A. Leach,
Chairman and CEO
Concho Resources

2017 Chief Roughneck
Ryan M. Lance
Chairman and CEO
ConocoPhillips

2016 Chief Roughneck
Harold G. Hamm
Chairman and CEO
Continental Resources

2013 Chief Roughneck Bruce Vincent, president of Swift Energy, and Bruce Wells of the American Oil an d Gas Historical Society.

2013 Chief Roughneck Bruce Vincent, president of Swift Energy, was interviewed in 2008 in Houston by Bruce Wells of the American Oil & Gas Historical Society.

2015 Chief Roughneck
Lee K. Boothby
Chairman, President and CEO
Newfield Exploration Company

2014 Chief Roughneck
Jeffrey L. Ventura
President and CEO
Range Resources

2013 Chief Roughneck
Bruce H. Vincent
President and Director
Swift Energy Company

2012 Chief Roughneck
Charles D. Davidson
Chairman and CEO
Noble Energy, Inc.

2011 Chief Roughneck
Michael C. Linn
Executive Chairman
Linn Energy, LLC

2010 Chief Roughneck
Aubrey K. McClendon
Chairman and CEO
Chesapeake Energy Corporation

2009 Chief Roughneck
Harold Korell
Chairman of the Board
Southwestern Energy Company

2008 Chief Roughneck
DiemerTrue
Chairman and Founder
Diamond Companies of Wyoming

2007 Chief Roughneck
John B. Walker
President and Chief Executive Officer
EnerVest

2006 Chief Roughneck
Mark Papa
President
EOG Resources, Inc.

2005 Chief Roughneck
Ray L. Hunt
Chief Executive Officer
Hunt Oil Company

2004 Chief Roughneck
George M. Yates
Chairman and President
HEYCO Energy Group, Inc.

2003 Chief Roughneck
Robert J. Allison, Jr.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Anadarko Petroleum

Bronze bust of Joe Roughneck in Texas park.

Bronze bust of Joe Roughneck in a Texas park.

2002 Chief Roughneck
Robert L. Nance
President and Chief Executive Officer
Nance Petroleum

2001 Chief Roughneck
James Cleo Thompson, Jr.
Chairman and President
Thompson Petroleum

2000 Chief Roughneck
J. Larry Nichols
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Devon Energy

1999 Chief Roughneck
Lew O. Ward
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Ward Petroleum

1998 Chief Roughneck
Jon Rex Jones
Chairman
Jones Energy, Ltd.

1997 Chief Roughneck
George A. Alcor
President
Alcorn Exploration

1996 Chief Roughneck
John A. Yates
President
Yates Petroleum

1995 Chief Roughneck
Eugene L. Ames, Jr.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Venus Exploration

1994 Chief Roughneck
C.J. (Pete) Silas
Chairman
Phillips Petroleum Company

1993 Chief Roughneck
Danny H. Conklin
Partner
Philcon Development Company

1992 Chief Roughneck
Irene S. Wischer
President and Chief Executive Officer
Panhandle Producing Company

1991 Chief Roughneck
George P. Mitchell
Chairman and President
Mitchell Energy & Development Company

1990 Chief Roughneck
Chester R. Upham
Owner and General Manager
Upham Gas Company

1989 Chief Roughneck
Raymond H. Hefner Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Bonray Energy Corporation

1988 Chief Roughneck
Robert G. Fowler
President and Chief Operating Officer
Enserch Exploration

1987 Chief Roughneck
E.L. (Chick) Williamson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Louisiana Land and Exploration Company

1986 Chief Roughneck
Lloyd N. Unsell
President
IPAA

1985 Chief Roughneck
A.V. Jones Jr.
Chairman
Jones Company

1984 Chief Roughneck
Kye Trout Jr.
Owner and Chief Executive Officer
Energy Resources

1983 Chief Roughneck
Dean A. McGee
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Kerr-McGee

1982 Chief Roughneck
Jack M. Allen
President and Chief Executive Officer
Alpar Resources

1981 Chief Roughneck
Robert O. Anderson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Atlantic Richfield

1980 Chief Roughneck
Edwin L. Cox
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Cox Oil & Gas Company

1979 Chief Roughneck
L. Frank Pitts
Owner
Pitts Oil Company

1978 Chief Roughneck
J. Hugh Liedtke
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Pennzoil Company

1977 Chief Roughneck
Charles H. Murphy Jr.
Chairman
Murphy Oil Company

1976 Chief Roughneck
R.L. (Bob) Foree
Owner
Foree Oil

1975 Chief Roughneck
C. John Miller
Partner
Miller Brothers

1974 Chief Roughneck
Roy Guffey
Owner
Roy Guffey Drilling Company

1973 Chief Roughneck
Wayne E. Glenn
President
Continental Oil Company

1972 Chief Roughneck
W.A. Moncrief
President and Chief Executive Officer

1971 Chief Roughneck
M.A. (Mike) Wright
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Humble Oil & Refining Company

1970 Chief Roughneck
W.F. (Dink) Dalton
President
Placid Oil Company

1969 Chief Roughneck
Jack E. Kadane
Owner
G.E. Kadane & Son

1968 Chief Roughneck
L.B. Meaders
Chief Executive Officer
Halliburton Company

1967 Chief Roughneck
E.D. Brockett Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Gulf Oil Corporation

1966 Chief Roughneck
H.L. Hunt
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Hunt Oil Company

1965 Chief Roughneck
H.A. (Dave) True
Partner
True Oil and True Drilling

1964 Chief Roughneck
J. Harold Dunn
Chairman
Shamrock Oil and Gas Corporation

1963 Chief Roughneck
Bruce C. Clardy
President
L.R. Development, Limited

1962 Chief Roughneck Col. Alvin C. Hope
Partner
Rowan and Hope

1961 Chief Roughneck
Johnny Mitchell
President, Jade Oil
Vice Chairman, Christie, Mitchell & Mitchell

1960 Chief Roughneck
Earl Hollandsworth
Partner
Hollandsworth Oil Company

1959 Chief Roughneck
J.L. Latimer
Chairman
Magnolia Petroleum and Magnolia Pipe Line Company

1958 Chief Roughneck
Guy I. Warren
Vice President and Part Owner
Renwar Oil Corporation

AOGHS membership ad for 2020

1957 Chief Roughneck
Arch Rowan
Owner
Rowan Drilling Company

1956 Chief Roughneck
Jake L. Hamon
Partner
Jake L. Hamon Oil

1955 Chief Roughneck
R.E. (Bob) Smith
Independent

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The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Become an AOGHS supporting member and help maintain this energy education website and expand historical research. For more information, contact bawells@aoghs.org. Copyright © 2020 Bruce A. Wells. All rights reserved.

Citation Information: Article Title: “Chief Roughneck Award Winners.” Authors: B.A. Wells and K.L. Wells. Website Name: American Oil & Gas Historical Society. URL: https://aoghs.org/petroleum-art/joe-roughneck. Last Updated: October 22, 2021. Original Published Date: March 11, 2005.

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