SPE News

In Memoriam: Arlen Edgar

1981 SPE President and 1986 AIME President passed away June 14.


Arlen Edgar, 1981 SPE President and 1986 President of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME), died 14 June.

Edgar attended Tarleton State University from 1952 to 1953 and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in petroleum engineering in 1956. He joined Pan American Petroleum Corp. (which was later Amoco) in 1957. In 1961, he became associated with Leibrock, Landreth, Campbell, and Callaway consulting engineering firm, rising to manager of the Consulting Division. At the same time, he served as secretary and a director of Canada-based Kanata Exploration and southern Louisiana-based Offshore Exploration Company. In 1967, he joined Tipperary Corp., a diversified natural resources company and served as an officer and director in Midland, Texas, and Australia. He was general manager of Western States Producing Company from 1971 to 1973. He was an independent oil and gas investor since then.

Prior to his service as SPE President and later, he was an active member of the Permian Basin Section and served on numerous SPE committees and on the boards of SPE and the SPE Foundation. His presidential year marked the midway point of SPE’s 10-Year Long Range Plan adopted in 1976 and saw several highlight achievements: in 1981, the SPE Board endorsed the plans for a new headquarters building in Richardson, Texas, by the SPE Foundation; the keynote address by former US President Gerald Ford in the 1981 Hydrocarbon Energy and Economics Symposium; and a record number of attendees and exhibitors at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio compared to previous years. Edgar later became the president of AIME in 1986. He was a past president of the SPE Foundation board and a trustee at the time of his passing.

A 1984 recipient of the SPE Distinguished Service Award, Edgar was honored with the SPE Distinguished Membership in 1984 and Honorary Membership in 1989. He received the SPE DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal in 1993 and the SPE Public Service Award in 1996. He received many awards from other professional organizations, including the 2004 Top Hand Award from the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, the 2008 Hearst Energy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Midland Reporter-Telegram, and the 2012 SPE Permian Basin Section Presidential Scholarship in his name. Most recently, he was a 2019 inductee into the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum Hall of Fame.

Edgar served as chairman of the Visiting Committee to the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas, and in 1981 was selected as Distinguished Engineering Graduate of that institution. In 1986 he was named as a Distinguished Alumnus of Tarleton State University.

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