Joe M. Parsley

Joe Parsley

B.S.P.E. 1951
Co-Founder, Parker and Parsley Petroleum Company
Midland, TX

Joe Parsley and Howard Parker formed Parker and Parsley in 1962 with a simple handshake. From this humble beginning, the company Parsley co-founded grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise, merging with Mesa Inc. in 1997 to form Pioneer Natural Resources Co., the nation’s third largest independent oil and gas company.

Parsley’s career began immediately after earning his B.S. in petroleum engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, when he went to work for Marathon Oil Co. as an engineer in Hobbs, N.M. and Midland, Texas. In 1952 he settled in Midland as an employee of Forest Oil Corp. and, later, Inca Drilling Co.  Parker and Parsley was formed in 1962. It went public in 1991 as Parker and Parsley Petroleum Co.

Although the oil industry is noted for its booms and busts, Parker and Parsley managed to remain stable during the downturns. And, even though Parsley officially retired in 1985, he maintained a close friendship with Parker until his death in 2015. He considered these the most successful accomplishments of their partnership.

In the spirit of loyalty to the university that helped launch his career, Parsley was a generous contributor to the College of Engineering’s scholarship fund. He was a Friend of Alec, funding the Joe M. Parsley Scholarship Fund, and provided a gift to the College to found the Joe M. Parsley Endowment in Excellence. He was also actively involved with the university and was a member of the Chancellor’s Council, the President’s Association and the Littlefield Society.

OYEG Honorees

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