Gene R. George, P.G.
Gene began his geologic journey at the University of Kansas where he received his bachelor’s degree in Geology in 1964. He promptly started work for Amerada Hess, during which time he received his master’s degree in Geology from Oregon state University and became assistant to the Exploration Vice President of Amerada Hess before he left in 1971. Gene worked as a consultant for the remainder of his life, participating in several consulting firms as partner focusing on petroleum exploration and prospect generation in all parts of Wyoming with specific emphasis on the Powder River, Big Horn, Green River, and Wind River Basins.
In 1980, Gene and DeGaugh Well Service, later known as Clark & George, co-discovered the Morton field where 19 productive wells were drilled. For the next 10 years, Gene purchased acreage, developed drilling prospects and secured industry drilling funding. After 1990, Gene jointly owned and participated in operations of Cole Creek, Beaver Hole, Hancock Draw and Bright Fields in Wyoming. He also held retainers to operate exploration programs and generate drilling prospects which were successful in discovering new oil reserves. While working under retainer with Presido Oil Company he discovered Oxbow Minnelusa Oil Field, co-discovered Royal Draw Minnelusa Oil Field and extended Haight Minnelusa Field. Gene completed numerous estate evaluations of oil and gas, coalbed methane and coal for net worth estate and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) purposes. He was heavily involved in the Methane Operators Group and the Petroleum Association of Wyoming’s Coal Bed Methane committee.
In the late 1980s, Gene expanded his consulting business to include environmental/regulatory work. He managed the regulatory issues for numerous oil and gas companies throughout Wyoming and testified as a professional geologist before the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC). From 1988 to 1992, he served as a gubernatorial appointment to the WOGCC.
One of the most notable of Gene’s projects involved remediation of the old Shannon Oil Refinery site in downtown Casper (this facility operated from 1895 to about 1907 and was located near Center & Collins). In 1994 former First Lady Jane Sullivan initiated a project to address the closing in late 1991 of the Amoco Oil Refinery west of downtown. Because of his geologic background and familiarity with refinery remediation, she called on Gene as well as other individuals (Rob Hurless, Bill McDowell, Maggi Murdock, and Bart Rea) to help develop a plan to turn the Amoco Refinery site from an environmental liability to an asset for the community. By early 1998 this group of six individuals evolved into what became the Community Facilitation Initiative Committee, working with the City of Casper, Amoco, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to lay the groundwork for the formation of the Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board in late 1998. The successful outcome of this collaborative process resulted in the approval and formation of the Platte River Commons site in 2002, which includes the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Three Crowns Golf Course, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission offices, and an associated business park throughout the Commons. Gene participated “behind the scenes” throughout this time and was one of the original members of the Three Crowns Management Committee formed in 2005.
Gene, Ron Baugh and Roger Miller were instrumental in establishing professional geologist (PG) licensure in Wyoming; the 5-year legislative process started in 1990. Senator Eli Bebout and representative Barbara Cubin were co-sponsors of the bill which culminated with the Wyoming Board of Professional Geologists. Because of Gene’s contribution, he received PG #8 in Wyoming.
Gene was very involved in Casper life and a proud member of many organizations including the Wyoming Geological Association (WGA), Vision 2000 and the Amoco Reuse Joint Powers Board. He published numerous studies in WGA and AAPG bulletins and guidebooks from 1969 to 2000. Gene seemed most pleased to be part of the University Park Elementary School “Earn to Learn” Reading Program and often spoke of his pride in the children with whom he worked. Gene was an accomplished storyteller with a wonderful, dry sense of humor. He truly loved golf (especially at Three Crowns in Casper) and was an avid fly-fisherman. Gene was honest, kind, considerate, and was the symbol of integrity for all who knew him.
Continuing Gene’s Legacy
In 2004, Gene hired Tyler Vanderhoef, both a Petroleum Engineer and Licensed Wyoming Attorney. Tyler purchased the business from Gene in 2007 and has carried on Gene’s legacy after his passing in 2012. As President, Tyler has further developed GGA to include Air Quality Engineering and established a satellite location in Sheridan, WY. Further expansion came in 2018 with the acquisition of Pilch Engineering, a long-standing civil engineering firm in Sheridan, WY.
Today, all members of Gene R. George & Associates, Inc. carry on Gene’s legacy in every aspect of our work. Following Gene’s example, each one of us standards of the highest order including that of integrity, respect, responsibility, work ethic, and leadership. We are proud to live in Wyoming and be a part of its oil and gas industry.
To read more about GGA’s Leadership, click on the button below.