Currently an Honorary Member, Jack Threet has served for over half a century both the AAPG and AAPG Foundation. He also served Shell Oil for 36 years, another lengthy commitment which ended only after he had risen to the rank of Vice President and Head of Exploration, the position he held until he retired in 1987.
After his retirement from Shell, he moved on to found the independent Threet Energy Incorporated, a Houston-based oil and gas exploration management and advice company. Threet co-founded another exploration company (EEMC) with Jim Wood (deceased), Paul Dudley, Ray Burke and Larry Funkhouser (the 2004 Sydney Powers Medalist), all AAPG members and formerly fierce competitors during their careers as employees of major companies.
Born in the small southern Illinois township of Dundas in 1928, Threet spent his elementary school years in a 3-room schoolhouse until relocating to Champaign. It was here that Threet enrolled at the University of Illinois and where he first began his relationship with Shell. Working his way through school, he took a summer job with the company in Tulsa, Oklahoma and found the job so engrossing that he put his master’s studies on hold and accepted Shell’s offer for full-time employment as a junior stratigrapher in Tulsa. His employment with Shell yielded results with a surprising quickness, as his first successful exploration – the discovery of Oklahoma’s south Autwine field – came after barely two years at the company. Threet advanced steadily through the ranks at Shell, holding numerous positions of increasing responsibility in not only the U.S., but also in the Netherlands, Canada and Australia. All of this culminated in a nine-year run in Houston, as the company’s Vice President and Head of Exploration. As such, Threet headed Shell’s renaissance period of exploration successes from 1978-1987. His strong personal initiative made him a natural for mentoring and leadership positions.
Since 1987, Threet has been a Trustee Associate of the AAPG Foundation. In 1994, he became a Trustee of the Foundation which he chaired from 2002 to 2006. After his retirement as chairman, Threet and Larry Funkhouser were named co-chairs of the first-ever major fund-raising campaign for the Foundation with an initial goal of $25 million and a stretch goal of $35 million. As of January 2011, this campaign had raised $30 million in contributions.
His awards with the AAPG include both the 2003 Robert H. Dott Memorial Award for his work on the 74th AAPG Memoir and the 2005 Distinguished Service Award.
Busy philanthropists Threet and Katy, his wife of 60+ years, contribute regularly to organizations such as the YMCA, Rotary International, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Methodist Church. United Way and to earth science related foundations including AAPG, AGI and SEG.
An avid golfer, Threet has been inducted into the Senior Golfers of America Hall of Fame and his biography has appeared in the Marquis publication Who’s Who in America every year since 1985. He and Katy reside in Houston, Texas in the winter and in Pagosa Springs, Colorado in the summer.
Bill Fisher (left), Chairman of the AAPG Foundation presents the L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal to Jack Threet at the AAPG 2011 annual meeting in Houston, Texas.