L. Kent Thomas

For his brilliant 40-year career encompassing the depth and combination of physical concepts and sound mathematical modeling in all his work and publications, for his contributions and concepts significantly advancing reservoir simulation, and for his work on reservoir simulation of fractured reservoirs, the most important piece of work on dual-porosity modeling.

AIME Honorary Membership in 2012

L. Kent Thomas, an independent consultant, retired from the reservoir simulation  development branch of the upstream technology division at ConocoPhillips in 2006. He has authored or coauthored numerous development and applied reservoir simulation papers and his paper “Fractured Reservoir Simulation” was selected by the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers for the Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award for Fractured Reservoir Analysis in 1982.               

Thomas has served on more than 40 SPE committees, including positions as technical program chairperson for the SPE 1978 ATCE and as the 1989 Forum Series chairperson on naturally fractured reservoirs.  He has also served as Chairman of the SPE Forum Series Coordinating Committee from 1993-95; as program chair for the 1997 SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation; as chair of the 2001 Lester C. Uren Award Committee; and as a session chairperson of the 2003 SPE Forum on Reservoir Simulation.  Thomas has also served on the board of directors of the Reservoir Engineering Research Institute, RERI, since its founding in 1990.

Thomas received the SPE Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award in 1993 and was recognized as an SPE Distinguished Member in 1995.  During 1995-96, he was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer.  He received the Phillips Petroleum Company 1999 Technology Achievement Award and the Phillips Petroleum Company 2000 Shield Award.  Thomas also received the AIME Robert Earll McConnell Award in 2002 and the ConocoPhillips Technology Innovation Award in 2007. He received the SPE DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal in 2009 in recognition for his career at the leading edge of reservoir simulation, his dedicated service to SPE, and his enthusiasm in communicating technology widely for the benefit of the industry and the community.  Thomas earned a BS degree from the University of Oklahoma and MSE and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan, all in chemical engineering.