History of IPAA

The Independent Petroleum Association of America: Nearly 90 years of progress and service to the oil and natural gas producing industry.

Through boom and bust, IPAA has been on the front lines in support of America’s independent oil and natural gas producers. Founded in the summer of 1929 by a small group of determined independents, IPAA has grown to an organization of many thousands today. For more than 85 years, IPAA’s volunteer leaders have skillfully married business savvy with political skills to keep the independent oil and natural gas industry alive and thriving.

The Formative Years

Wirt Franklin

Independent producers were in bad shape in 1929 and facing even more troubled times ahead. The government was encouraging oil imports. American oil reserves were plentiful, yet suspicion prevailed among federal policy makers that the United States was soon to run out of petroleum.

In a fiery address during President Herbert Hoover’s historic Oil Conservation Conference in Colorado Springs in June 1929, Wirt Franklin of Ardmore, Oklahoma, told conferees that independents were fearful that in the name of conservation, a compact may be initiated vesting absolute authority in a commission which could restrict domestic production to any extent it might desire, and allow domestic demand to be filled by the importation of foreign oil. “If this condition should be brought about,” roared Franklin, “it would mean the annihilation and destruction of the small producer of crude oil.”

IPAA Chief Executives 1929-Present

42. Michael Watford

Texas

2017-2018

41. Mark Miller

Louisiana

2015-2017

40. Michael Watford

Texas

2013-2015

39. Virginia “Gigi” Lazenby

Tennessee

2011-2013

38. Bruce Vincent

Texas

2009-2011

37. Buddy Kleemeier

Oklahoma

2007-2009

36. Michael C. Linn

Pennsylvania

2005-2007

35. John B. Walker

Texas

2003-2005

34. Diemer True

Wyoming

2001-2003

33. Jerry D. Jordan

Ohio

1999-2001

32. George M. Yates

New Mexico

1997-1999

31. Lew O. Ward

Oklahoma

1995-1997

30. George A. Alcorn

Texas

1993-1995

29. Eugene L. Ames, Jr.

Texas

1991-1993

28. C. Paul Hilliard

Louisiana

1989-1991

27. Danny H. Conklin

Texas

1987-1989

26. Raymond H. Hefner, Jr.

Oklahoma

1985-1987

25. Jon Rex Jones

Texas

1983-1985

24. Kye Trout, Jr.

North Dakota

1981-1983

23. T. P. McAdams, Jr.

Oklahoma

1979-1981

22. Jack M. Allen

Texas

1977-1979

21. A. V. Jones, Jr.

Texas

1975-1977

20. C. John Miller

Michigan

1973-1975

19. Tom B. Medders, Jr.

Texas

1971-1973

18. Robert E. Mead

Texas

1969-1971

17. Harold M. McClure, Jr.

Michigan

1967-1969

16. F. Allen Calvert, Jr.

Oklahoma

1965-1967

15. H. A. “Dave” True

Wyoming

1963-1965

14. Harold Decker

Texas

1962-1963

13. Alvin C. Hope

Texas

1960-1961

12. Gordon Simpson

Texas

1958-1959

11. Robert L. Wood

Texas

1956-1957

10. W. M. Vaughey

Mississippi

1954-1955

9. Charlton Lyons

Louisiana

1951-1953

8. J. Ed Warren

Texas

1949-1951

7. Fred W. Shield

Texas

1948-1949

6. Merle Becker

Missouri

1947-1948

5. B. A. Hardey

Louisiana

1945-1947

4. Ralph T. Zook

Pennsylvania

1943-1945

3. Frank Buttram

Oklahoma

1939-1943

2. Charles F. Roeser

Texas

1935-1939

1. Wirt Franklin

Oklahoma

1929-1935

IPAA is the industry’s strongest presence in the nation’s capital and these are important times. The entire oil and gas industry remains under fire from anti-development groups; but with these challenges arise unique opportunities that IPAA is seizing for our members.