Scott D. Sheffield
B.S. PE 1975
CEO and Chairman, Pioneer Natural Resources
Scott Sheffield will deliver the keynote address at the Cockrell School’s Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremony. He is CEO and chairman of Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the nation’s largest independent oil and gas companies.
The son of a petroleum engineer and international executive with ARCO, Sheffield was raised in Tehran, Iran, and grew up in the oil business. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with his bachelor’s degree in petroleum in engineering in 1975, he joined Amoco Production Co. as a reservoir engineer. In 1979, he became the fifth employee of Parker & Parsley Petroleum Co. in Midland, Texas, where he served as the sole staff engineer. He rose to the position of CEO in 1985 and became chairman in 1991. Under Sheffield’s leadership, Parker & Parsley merged with MESA, Inc. to form Pioneer Natural Resources, which primarily operates in the Permian Basin.
Sheffield has earned numerous accolades for his leadership and contributions to the energy industry. He received the Permian Basin Petroleum Association’s prestigious Top Hand Award in recognition of his leadership within the oil and gas industry and the Permian Basin community. Additionally, he was inducted into the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum Hall of Fame, received the Anti-Defamation League’s Henry Cohn Humanitarian Award in Dallas and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Hope Award in Midland.
Sheffield has served on many industry and education boards, including the National Petroleum Council, Santos Ltd., America’s Natural Gas Alliance and the Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Board in Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. A loyal supporter of UT Austin and the Cockrell School of Engineering, Sheffield served on the Cockrell School’s Engineering Advisory Board and was named a Distinguished Engineering Graduate in 1996. His contributions to the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering facilitated the renewal of the drilling and production curriculum and the recruitment of several new faculty members.
Sheffield currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, Kimberley. They have five children and ten grandchildren.