Oral Histories

James R. Jorden

James R. Jorden - SPE

Produced by AIME, 2023

James “Jim” Jorden earned his bachelor’s degree, with honors, in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa in 1957. Upon graduating, Jim joined Shell Oil and held petrophysical engineering positions in the company’s research and operations organizations. He became chief petrophysical engineer in the company’s corporate headquarters before branching out and working with Quicksilver Resources, Inc. as an occasional consultant. Jim’s true passion as a petroleum engineer, however, was not the work he did in industry but the collaborations he had with other engineers through SPE, UEF, AIME, and AIME’s Member Societies. Since his initial involvement with AIME in 1956, Jim has held over 40 society-wide positions on administrative and technical committees and has acted as an AIME trustee for three terms. He supported AIME during its relocation from NYC to Colorado, led the digitizing process of the organization’s files, causing the formation of OneMine.org and OnePetro.org, and directed the organization to become a pioneer of the ESG movement. He served as AIME president in 2006, helping to ensure the financial and organizational stability of AIME and to create Constituent Societies and programs focused on supporting the organization’s four Member Societies. Jim earned the Society of Petroleum Engineer's Distinguished Service Award in 1988, the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal in 1991, and an AIME/SPE Honorary Membership in 1995. He is revered in industry for his devotion and service to engineering organizations.