2005 – Outstanding Explorer Award

Award: Outstanding Explorer, 2005
Awardee: Douglas K. Strickland
Publication: The Outcrop, November 2005, p. 20

The Rocky mountain Association of Geologists is pleased to name Douglas K. Strickland as the recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Explorer Award. The award recognizes his significant contributions toward the discovery of Covenant Field in Utah.

Doug started his career as a petroleum geologist with Chevron in 1975 after completing a BS in Geology from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Geology from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. His graduate thesis work offered his first exposure to the geology of western Utah.

The story of the discovery of Covenant Field is one of persistence and recognition. One of Doug’s initial assignments with Chevron was in western Utah where Chevron was exploring this portion of the Overthrust Belt. It was during this time, some thirty years ago, that he began to formulate the ideas that led to the discovery of Covenant Field. Though Doug left Chevron for Grace Petroleum and then became Exploration Manager for Wolverine, he maintained a keen interest in the potential of the Utah portion of the Overthrust Belt. Chevron had drilled a key well in 1981. Doug recognized the significance of this well and how it could fit into his regional concepts. In 1999, when Chevron was pulling out of the Rockies, he convinced Wolverine to make a trade on Chevron’s seismic and acreage block. A prospect was generated utilizing the seismic, structural geology and geochemistry. Wolverine presented the prospect over sixty times to potential industry partners, plus showings at the North American Prospect Expo, with no success. Eventually, Wolverine found non-industry partners and small independent companies to finance the drilling of the discovery well at Covenant Field. In the first year and a half of production, two wells have produced 380 thousand barrels of 40 degree oil, and have spurred industry interest in the Utah Overthrust.

Doug has demonstrated two characteristics common to being a successful exploration geologist: a keen insight in seeing what could be when others could not, and a determination to see it through. He knew what to do and how to get it done. The Rocky Mountain Association of Petroleum Geologists is proud to present Douglas K. Strickland its Outstanding Explorer Award.