Swanson School honors Mark Papa as Distinguished Alumnus in Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Above: Mark Papa (center) with Interim U.S. Steel Dean Sanjeev Shroff (left) and Department Chair Steven Little
The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering feted its 2023 class of Distinguished Alumni on Friday, March 3 at the University Club. Recognized among this year's honorees was Mark G. Papa BSPetE '68 as the Distinguished Alumnus in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.
“Like many who graduated from the program during the 1950s and ‘60s, Mark didn’t have to wait long to find a job in the oil and gas sector, which is why so many of our alumni from that time are now in Texas and the southern states,” noted Steven R. Little, Department Chair of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. “With five decades of experience and insight in the industry, as well as his ability to navigate future trends, Mark understands that today’s students must have the engineering expertise and ingenuity to help that transition take place, especially as so many oil and gas employees from his generation retire. He has been instrumental in helping us adapt our program to produce the chemical engineer of the future."
About Mark Papa
Mark Papa grew up in Monroeville, just 15 miles from the Pitt campus. He graduated from Pitt in 1968 with a BS in Petroleum Engineering degree and later received an MBA from the University of Houston in 1980. Papa worked for Conoco in various engineering roles 1968-1981 in Corpus Christi, New Orleans, Houston, and Dubai. In 1981 he joined Belco Petroleum, a company that, after several mergers, became Enron Oil & Gas. In 1999, Papa led the company in a split from Enron just two years before Enron imploded. He became the first Chairman and CEO of the renamed oil & gas company – EOG Resources. During his tenure of leadership 1999-2013 the company’s market cap grew from $2 billion to $54 billion and the stock value increased 2200%. EOG was the first company in the world to develop the horizontal drilling and fracturing technology to make shale oil commercial, which made the US self sufficient in oil production for the first time in over 50 years, and substantially affected global oil markets.
After retiring from EOG in 2013, Papa started another smaller oil company in 2016, Permian Resources. He retired from that company in 2019. Today, Papa is Chairman of SLB, the world’s largest oilfield service company, employing 100,000 people globally. He has been married to his wife Susan for 53 years and has one daughter and two grandchildren.