SMU Cox Maguire Energy Institute honors Scott Sheffield with Pitts Energy Leadership Award

SMU's Maguire Energy Institute honors Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield.

Scott Sheffield

Dallas (SMU)—The Maguire Energy Institute at SMU Cox School of Business honored Scott Sheffield, chairman and chief executive officer of Pioneer Natural Resources Company, with the 2013 L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award at a luncheon ceremony on Tuesday, December 10 at the Cox School’s Collins Center.

Scott Sheffield
Scott Sheffield

The Energy Leadership Award was presented to Sheffield as an individual who, like the late oilman for whom the award is named, exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship, ethical leadership and innovation in the energy industry.

“We are proud to honor Scott Sheffield with this prestigious award because of the positive impact he has made on the oil and gas industry throughout his almost 40 years in the business,” said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute. “Scott’s leadership extends beyond his own company and onto the boards of several industry-related and community boards.  He serves as an outstanding example to those just beginning their careers in the industry.”

Sheffield is a second-generation oil and gas industry man.  His father was an executive with ARCO, which gave him an international upbringing, including a high school experience in Tehran, Iran. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering in 1975.  His career in oil and gas began with Amoco Production Company as a reservoir engineer.  In 1979, Sheffield moved to Midland-based Parker & Parsley Petroleum Company as its sole staff engineer.  He was named CEO in 1985 and in 1991 became chairman.  He oversaw the merger with MESA Inc. that resulted in the creation of Pioneer Natural Resources Company in 1997.  Sheffield was named CEO of the newly formed company that year.

Pioneer, a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company, has an enterprise value of approximately $28 billion. It has been named as a leading company to work for in the Dallas-Fort Worth area the last five years and employs approximately 4,000 people.

Sheffield is a member of the board of the Maguire Energy Institute, America’s Natural Gas Alliance and the National Petroleum Council.  He also has a long history of service with other industry-related and education-oriented boards and community efforts.  

Sheffield is the fourth recipient of the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award.  The first recipient, in 2010, was Ray L. Hunt, chairman and CEO of Hunt Oil Company and chairman, CEO and president of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.  Co-founder and executive chairman of Devon Energy Corporation J. Larry Nichols was the 2011 honoree, and in 2012, the award was presented to Mark Papa, chairman and chief executive officer of EOG Resources, Inc.

The Maguire Energy Institute and the Cox School of Business created the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award to honor the legacy of independent oil and natural gas producer L. Frank Pitts, who participated in the drilling of more than 3,000 wells over almost seven decades.  The late oilman formerly served as a member of the Maguire Energy Institute’s Advisory Board.  His daughter, Linda Pitts Custard, is a former member of the SMU Board of Trustees, an alumna of SMU Cox and serves on the Award Event Committee for the Pitts Energy Leadership Award Luncheon.

The annual event serves as a fundraiser for the Maguire Energy Institute and its MBA and BBA scholarships.  This year’s event sold out weeks in advance and brought in $262,000, the most funds ever raised by the Pitts Leadership Award, to benefit the institute and the scholarship effort.  Two Cox students with degree concentrations in energy were presented scholarships at the luncheon: Nicholas Saliba, who will complete his BBA in 2014, and Chance Demases, who will complete his MBA in 2014.

Gary Evans, chairman and CEO of Magnum Hunter Resources, chaired the eight-member event committee.   George Yates, chairman and CEO of Heyco Energy led the nine-member award nominating committee.


The Cox School of Business ( was originally established in 1920 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and was named in honor of benefactor Edwin L. Cox in 1978.  SMU Cox offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate business education programs, including the BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Business Analytics, Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Sport Management, as well as Executive Education. The school also offers a number of unique resources and activities for students, including the Business Leadership Center (BLC), the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, the Folsom Institute for Real Estate, the Maguire Energy Institute, the Global Leadership Program and the Associate Board Executive Mentoring Program, as well as an international alumni network with chapters in more than 20 countries.