James O. Lewis (SPE)
AIME Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal in 1946
The petroleum industry will ever be indebted to James O. Lewis, an outstanding pioneer in the science of Petroleum Engineering. His vision in recognizing the fact that our petroleum reserves are not inexhaustible led him to devote much of his life to the study of the physical phenomena relating to petroleum reservoirs. Through his keen ability to evaluate and correlate facts and his lucidity in making these data available to the industry, he has extended our reserves and improved methods of production.
Mr. Lewis was born at San Jose, California in 1886 and received his B.A. in Geology from Stanford University in 1909. For six years he performed geological and petroleum engineering work for the Associated Oil Company and other private interests in California, Texas, Montana, and Canada In 1915 he joined the Bureau of Mines as Chief Engineer of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division. With the Bureau, Mr. Lewis was instrumental in organizing and directing a group of trained engineers in collecting, analyzing and evaluating the best available data on conditions controlling the behavior of oil and gas in its flow from the reservoir to the earth's surface. During Mr. Lewis's stay with the Bureau, the Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Petroleum Experiment Station was established and this unit has expanded to be of great importance to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division of today. He left the Bureau in 1920 to engage in consulting work with the firm of Dunn & Lewis of Houston, Texas.
As author and co-author of many important papers and articles, Mr. Lewis has contributed much to the important progress of the Petroleum Industry. His basic concepts and theories have long been and will continue to be the foundation for good production technology.