CEO Scott Sheffield Receives 2012 Top Hand Award

January 22, 2022

The Permian Basin Petroleum Association honored Scott Sheffield, Pioneer Natural Resources Chairman and CEO, with the 2012 Top Hand Award at a dinner reception Thursday, January 17 in Midland, Texas.

More than 600 were in attendance at the Midland Center reception, including approximately 80 Pioneer employees from the corporate headquarters and Midland locations. Colleagues, business partners, Association members, community leaders and family toasted to Sheffield’s 37-year career in the oil and gas industry, sharing memories, accolades and recognitions of his leadership.

“The Top Hand Award is the most prestigious award that the Permian Basin Petroleum Association gives,” said Ben Shepperd, the group’s president. “It’s an opportunity for us to thank individuals who have provided tremendous leadership from not only the oil industry perspective but the community as well.”

Sheffield currently serves on various industry-related and education-oriented boards, including the National Petroleum Council, America’s Natural Gas Alliance and the Maguire Energy Institute of the SMU Cox School of Business. Over the years, he and Pioneer have partnered with various West Texas institutions to enrich the community, from financially supporting construction of the Bush Tennis Center and expansion of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum to investing in public education and supporting Midland’s $163.1 million school bond. (Read more about Pioneer’s community involvement on the West Texas Community page.)

Of Pioneer’s 3,500 employees, 1,200 are in the Permian Basin, where Pioneer holds 900,000 acres in the Spraberry-Wolfcamp field. And in a recent Midland Reporter-Telegram news article, and then again at the dinner reception, Sheffield gave credit to every one of them.

“When I get this honor, it’s not just for my accomplishments but those of 3,500 employees,” he said.

The son of an ARCO international executive, Sheffield attended high school in Tehran, Iran. After graduating from the University of Texas in 1975 with a bachelor of science in petroleum engineering, he began his career as a reservoir engineer with Amoco Production Company. In 1979, he became the fifth employee of Parker & Parsley Petroleum Company in Midland, where he was the sole staff engineer. By 1991, he was Chairman and CEO, and in 1997 he oversaw the company’s merger with MESA Inc. to form Pioneer Natural Resources Company.

Today, Pioneer is a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company with an enterprise value of more than $16 billion. It has been named as the leading energy company to work for in both the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the state.

“Scott has embodied - during his whole career - several important components of management that we still use today. It starts with openness, with communication, with teamwork, and with the trust factor and respect among all employees,” said Tim Dove, Pioneer’s president and chief operating officer, during a tribute video that was shown at the Top Hand awards banquet.

On January 9, 2013, State Representative Tom Craddick (R-Midland) filed bill HR 69, which was promptly adopted, congratulating Sheffield for receiving the honor.

“Over the course of his stellar career, Scott Sheffield has made tremendous contributions to the oil and gas industry and rendered significant service to the wider community,” the bill states. “The House of Representatives of the 83rd Texas Legislature hereby congratulates Scott D. Sheffield on his receipt of the 2012 Permian Basin Petroleum Association Top Hand Award and commend him for the dynamic role he has played in developing this country’s energy resources.”