Lonestar Steel

George Yates, a New Mexico-based oil and natural gas industry leader and former chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), was recently awarded “The 2004 Chief Roughneck Award” — one of the oil and natural gas industry’s highest honors. Yates is chairman, president and CEO of HEYCO Energy Group, Inc. of Roswell, New Mexico with offices also in Dallas, Texas. 

HEYCO Energy is the parent company of Harvey E. Yates Company (HEYCO); HEYCO International, Inc.; and Rosetta Energy Partners, LP. For more information on HEYCO Energy Group, visit www.heycoenergy.com. The Chief Roughneck Award, originated and sponsored by Lone Star Steel every year since 1955, recognizes the one inpidual whose accomplishments and character best represent the highest ideals of the oil and gas industry.

The stature of the people who have been named Chief Roughneck has made the award the most meaningful in the industry. The award and the character behind it symbolize the spirit, the determination, the leadership and the integrity of those individuals who have left their mark on the petroleum industry.

The Yates family has been involved in oil and natural gas development for three generations. George Yates’ grandfather, Martin Yates, Jr., along with his business partners, discovered the first well in southeastern New Mexico in 1924.  That well is still producing today.

George Yates grew up in Artesia, New Mexico, and graduated from New Mexico Military Institute High School.  He received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Yates served as chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America from 1997-1999 and as vice chairman from 1996-1997. He has served as president of the New Mexico Landmen’s Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico.  He was founding chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Issues Council and the former chairman of the Mountain States Legal Foundation in Denver.

George and his wife Abby have two daughters, Lauren and Lindsey.