In 1933, Mr. Thomas Dewhurst (1881-1973), then President of the Institute of Petroleum in UK, organised what was to become the first World Petroleum Congress. The Dewhurst Lecture is a tribute to him and to the person asked to deliver the Dewhurst Lecture.
The World Petroleum Council uses the Dewhurst Lecture to celebrate an outstanding individual for their scientific and technological excellence in the petroleum industry. The recipients of the award are well known throughout the industry and have demonstrated unusually high achievements over many years.
In 2017, the Dewhurst Award was presented to Rex W Tillerson
At the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul in July 2017, Rex W. Tillerson, USA Secretary of State and past Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation, was recognised for his “outstanding contribution to the oil and gas industry” with the highest honour of the World Petroleum Council, the Dewhurst Award. This distinguished lifetime achievement award celebrates his exceptional leadership of the largest publicly traded oil and gas company in the world over the past 10 years. Rex Tillerson was only the tenth recipient of the Dewhurst Award in the history of the WPC.
H.E. Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. - The 7th Dewhurst Lecture - presented in Madrid 2008.
Guilherme De Oliveira Estrella, the Chief Exploration and Production Officer and Member of the Executive Board of Brazil’s Petrobras - The 8th lecture was delivered in Qatar in December 2011 - The 8th Dewhurst Lecture
H.E. Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Energy and President of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority of Qatar. The 9th Dewhurst Lecture was delivered at the 21st World Petroleum Congress in Moscow, June 2014
H.E. Rex W. Tillerson, then USA Secretary of State, and past Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation,received his award at the Opening Ceremony of the 22nd WPC in Istanbul 2017. (The 10th Dewhurst - pdf speech)
Thomas Dewhurst - Profile
Thomas Dewhurst, A.R.S., F.G.S., Hon. F. Inst. Pet., was born in Blackburn, UK, in 1881. At the early age of 12 he went to work in a cotton mill in Burnley and during that time attended night school. Later he went to Burnley Mechanics Institute where, in 1902, he gained a National Scholarship to the Royal College of Science in South Kensington, London. There he obtained a first class honours degree in geology and gained the associateship of the college. He continued working at the college as a demonstrator and later became a lecturer in geology at Queen's University, Belfast.
In 1910 Mr Dewhurst joined the Burmah Oil Company as a geologist and in 1916 was appointed senior geologist of the company, his office being in Rangoon. In 1922 he returned to London and became the first chief geologist of the company. At about the same time he was appointed geological adviser to the then Anglo-Persian Oil Company. He retired from the position of chief geologist to the Burmah Oil Company in 1938, but continued as a geological adviser until 1961.
As a keen supporter, Thomas Dewhurst was one of those who agreed to join the then Institution of Petroleum Technologists prior to its actual foundation in 1913. He was first elected to the Council in 1924, made a Vice President in 1931 and served as President for the sessions 1933-34 and 1934-35. During those 11 years he was an active member of various committees of the Council. It was during Mr Dewhurst's presidency of the Institution that the decision was taken to convene the first World Petroleum Congress in 1933. He served as President of the Congress and contributed much to its success and continuation.
After completing his period as President, Thomas Dewhurst continued to be active in the affairs of what had become the Institute of Petroleum as a Past-president until that post was abolished in 1958. For his services to the Institute, he was made an Honorary Fellow in 1954. On the occasion of that presentation the then President of the Institute, Lt Colonel S. J. M. Auld, said of him: "One of our quite naturally limited band of geologists, I always found that Mr Dewhurst has brought with him that width, that broadness of perspective and that depth of understanding which would seem appropriate from his profession. His acumen, combined with a never falling benignity and a refreshing newness of outlook, is most attractive and it is a fine thing to know, as many of us do, that the admiration which we have for him is shared by our friends on the Continent of Europe and in America."
Thomas Dewhurst died on 23 April 1973 at 92 years old, nearly forty years after he founded the World Petroleum Congress and what was to become the fellowship of countries engaged in oil and gas - the World Petroleum Council. His legacy lives on in the WPC Dewhurst Award.