Alumni Spotlight: Bill Haworth

Photo Credit: Alumni Spotlight Bill Haworth
January 4, 2024

I worked as a petroleum geologist for Chevron in the New Orleans area for 35 years, retiring as a senior staff geologist in April of 2015.

I worked mainly as a development geologist in giant oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico such as Bay Marchand and Main Pass 41. I recommended and drilled nearly 50 development wells in these fields and had the opportunity to work with and learn from other geologists and engineers in the asset team. I worked on horizontal wells, waterflooded reservoirs, and interpreted 3D and 4D Seismic and co-authored two published papers on Bay Marchand Field. Over the course of my career, I was very active in the sharing of best practices and lessons learned within the earth science community in Chevron, and acted as project coordinator for the team that developed and rolled out the earth science networks at Chevron that greatly contributed to this info sharing. I coordinated a class on the Geology of the Gulf of Mexico for new geologists and engineers for several years.

I had the enjoyable opportunity early in my career to explore for gas in the Appalachian Overthrust Trend from Virginia to Mississippi.

A class in historical geology taught by Dr. Ken Stanley at UNL ignited my interest in geology as a major. Early on I had a particular interest in minerals and mineralogy, and especially enjoyed field trips and collecting opportunities to the Black Hills (in the Fall) and the Ozarks (in the Spring) led by Dr. Treves and others. My interest in stratigraphy was fanned by the Saturday field trips in the fall to exposures of Pennsylvanian strata in Eastern Nebraska led by Professor Stout. I still have some of my samples from those trips including a valued sample of the fossiliferous Frisbee Limestone.

The solid geologic background I received at UNL served me well in my career. The field camp based in Eureka, Nevada in 1976 led by Dr. Fagerstrom provided a sound introduction to field methods and introduced me to the fascinating geology of the Basin and Range. Our class benefited from a talk by Dr. Tom Nolan (retired director of the USGS) during our last night in Eureka. Dr. Nolan wrote several classic papers on the geology of the Eureka area, and retired to live in Eureka. In the fall of 1977, I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Nevada in Reno, worked a summer in Uranium exploration in the Colorado Plateau,  and completed a MS thesis in 1980 on the geology of the northern Diamond Range, north of Eureka.

I look back fondly on classes at UNL by Dr. Treves who made things both interesting and enjoyable. He challenged us to not be afraid to “stick our necks out.” I will always remember the department volleyball games at the ROTC building across from Morrill Hall instigated by Dr. Treves – who referred to the games fondly as “jungle ball.” I also benefitted from the Department of English's technical writing class that I took in my last year at UNL.

In retirement I have tried to stay active. I consulted for a couple of years with a smaller independent oil and gas company. I’ve been a member of the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Geological Society and the Northshore (New Orleans) Food Bank, and alumni advisory board for UNL. I’ve passed on my interest and enthusiasm for rocks and minerals to my five grandchildren. My wife and I purchased a small RV and have traveled extensively in the West.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit and talk to students at the UNL field camp in Wyoming and the U. Of Nevada field camp in E Nevada. I’ve also visited the extensive Quartzite, Arizona rock and mineral show in January several times. This past summer I assisted other members of AAPG in teaching rocks and minerals to Scouts at the 2023 Jamboree in West Virginia in order to earn their geology Merit Badge.