Ted Flanigan, a professional petroleum geologist for nearly 40 years who has retired in Bandera, is one of two geologists named honorary members of the South Texas Geological Society this year, the society announced this month in a news release.
The society said an honorary member designation is reserved for a voting member of the society who has distinguished himself or herself in their service to the society and the profession.
As the highest honor that can be conferred on a member, an honorary membership has been awarded to only 44 society members in the society’s 91-year history, the release said. Only 10 honorary members are still living.
In a biography accompanying the release, Flanigan said his interest in geology as a profession started during his years at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned an undergraduate degree in geology in 1978, and at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a master’s degree in geology in 1980, but his curiosity about the oiland-gas industry started much earlier when he saw a documentary about oil and gas drillers and drilling rigs.
“To me, this was utterly foreign and exotic, yet so mesmerizing that I never forgot it,” said Flanigan, who was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. “That was the first time I saw this career path. I was only about 7-years-old at the time, and so although it did not represent a turning point, it must have been a signpost along my way.”
His first job was with Mobil Oil in Houston in 1980 but he worked for several other companies and as a consulting and an independent geologist in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Guatemala.
Flanigan first came to Bandera in 2002 when he and an old classmate from the University of Missouri formed East Guadalupe Resources LLC to work drilling prospects in South Texas.
He also joined the South Texas Geological Society when he moved to Bandera after being involved in numerous other petroleum societies and representing Nevada in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists through most of the 1990s.
Flanigan’s service to the South Texas society included work as a society director, as editor of the South Texas Geological Society Bulletin for five years, as a member of the society’s executive committee, as its president-elect, its president from 2016-2017 and as its past president from 2017- 2018.
The society said it and the geological profession reaped great benefits from Flanigan’s contributions throughout his career.
John Long, another St. Louis native who also obtained geology degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Texas at Austin, also was named an honorary member of the society.
He started his work as a geologist for Gulf Oil Co. in Houston after obtaining a master’s degree from UT-Austin in 1978.